On our last trip to the library we picked up a book called Stone Soup. When we got home we read the book. It's about three monks who visit a village that has been on hard times. No one in the village shares. The monks noticed that happiness was lacking in the village and they set out to make Stone Soup. A little girl comes up to them and asks what they are doing. They tell the girl they are making Stone Soup, but they need a bigger pot. She offers up her mother's large caldron. As they keep stirring their water and stones in a big pot in the courtyard, more and more people poke their noses out of their houses to see what is going on. One monk comments the last time they made stone soup, salt and pepper sure made it taste better. A villager offered up his supply. "Carrot's would make the broth sweeter" and soon someone offered to add in carrots. As the story goes, more and more villagers add just one more ingredient and by the end the caldron was teeming with a warm, delicious soup.... enough for the entire village to feast on. Happiness and feasting went on for the rest of the night.
It's a really touching story about sharing. To make it a bit more real for my girls, the second time we read it, I got out my big pot, their little pot, three rocks, a spoon and a bunch of food from their play kitchen. As we read the book, we kept adding adding vegetables until the pot was teeming over with food. We talked about the small pot with just water and rocks and how by sharing it turned into a big pot enough to feed all their teddies, bunnies and other stuffed animals (the villagers...)
This would make an AWESOME playdate/ preschool activity, assuming of course there is a stove available. Every kid brings a few vegetables/ingredients and they make lunch together. I may have to see if I can coordinate my next playdate around this theme if my friends are willing. I wonder how else I could stretch the lesson? Or maybe the play kitchen version was enough. It was very spontaneous which is how I usually roll!