28 February 2012

making do - desert sand

Seethroughfaith asked yesterday about the photo I'd used in a recent post:

learning Sacred Stories (Godly Play training)
This was a photo I took during my Godly Play training course. I wanted a photo of the desert bag, which for my purposes was a lot more manageable than a desert box:

exploring materials during the training course

That reminded me that I've wanted to start a series of posts here about Making Do. There's a certain tension in Godly Play between the ideal of a room full of beautiful materials dedicated for children's spiritual use and the practical realities of limited budgets, limited space, and limited time. Sometimes we have to make do.

When it came time for me to get and fill a desert bag, it was winter - not the right season for collecting sand at the seaside. (Besides which, it's best to have very dry sand for your classroom.) The smallest quantity we could get at the local hardware store was FAR too much. (Also I have since learned that there can be health concerns about children playing with industrial-grade sand.) But I found a solution:

my desert bag
I bought several kilos of cream of wheat! Cream of wheat is farina, or ground wheat, which can be cooked into a breakfast porridge. It's lovely - light-colored, and a beautiful texture to work with. And best of all, do you know what the Finnish for "cream of wheat" is?


The Gathering of the Manna (15th c. image source)


  1. Talk about out-of-the-box thinking. Way to go!

  2. I love this! We use sand but hearing the Finnish translation gives me a desire to use cream of wheat.

  3. Perfect! I will have to admit, though; my first thought was if I did it, I'd probably find mealbugs in it! At school we kept cornmeal for YEARS and would get it out whenever it was time to teach about life cycles! Those "critters lived, reproduced, and died right there in that cornmeal. Eeeew! Jan

    1. LOL. Good point, Jan. I'd have to be a lot more careful if I lived in a different climate!


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