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One of our table invitations today involved squares of cork, giant pushpins and colored paper. The children were invited to poke holes through the paper with the pushpin and create a design.

L and O were most interested in the varying size and placement of the holes they could make with the pushpins. O enjoyed the sensation of pushing extra hard with both hands. L discovered that if he wiggled the pin around, the holes would get bigger.

D and H were most interested in the effect the holes left behind, as well as the texture differences on the front and back of the paper they were working on. Each of them held their work up to the light in order to see the holes more clearly. H’s response upon seeing the light coming through the holes was a delighted, “Oooooh! Fancy!”

C spent the longest with this activity. He worked his way through several papers, first making random patterns, then asking me to draw a square for him to “trace” with the pin. Finally, he asked me to write his name so he could “trace” his name.

When I wrote it backwards (with the misguided assumption that he would turn it over to see the light—silly grownup), he wondered aloud why I made a “2” in his name (the backwards “s” in his full name.) He worked a very long time on this project (about 30 minutes) and was so pleased with the results that he could hardly wait to show his family.

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