Acton Academy Omaha

Follow the child – pirate style

“Give me back my bones!” our pirate-like voices rang out in unison as the heroes held their wiggly mini paper skeletons, limbs attached to the body with golden brads. It was the third time this week we had enjoyed the book in our afternoon story time. Some skeletons were acting out the story, while some were along for the ride. Inspiration and excitement filled our hearts.

Little did I know when the week began how much they would be interested in learning about their bones – how they look, where they are, even what their funny names are. When we opened up this book, questions and curiosity overflowed. An experience of discovery began as we reached out to find and touch our bones. We laughed together as the character exclaimed, “Where did I leave my phalanges?”

It was clear. We needed a skeleton craft – and fast. After a quick google search and a trip to the store, we had one the next day – a wiggly skeleton with golden brads. I couldn’t wait for the heroes to meet him!

Mr. Skeleton was introduced the next afternoon to a few excited heroes. As these few learned how to cut, hole-punch, and attach the pieces together, inspiration spread like wildfire. Pretty soon, most of the heroes had made their very own skeleton, all on their own accord, while some enjoyed the experience through observation. During the afternoon circle the next day, we had almost double the number of participants – including a whole host of skeletons, carefully arranged by their owners, so they could hear the story too. Some even took apart all of their skeleton’s pieces so they could attach them one by one, going along with the Give Me Back My Bones story.

By the following day, these skeletons were now taking on identities of their own – some with hats, others with swords, or even a peg leg. They were accompanying some heroes on their work-time adventures or resting next to them at DEAR time. I chuckled as I observed the creative additions to our studio life.

During DEAR time this day, one hero, in particular, was wandering; like a stalled car on the highway without gas to propel him forward. This hero is fascinatingly creative. He loves to create stories of being a ninja with special powers. He has found his place with the other heroes through the imaginative “Superhero Family” play happening outside most days. As he wandered around, I saw in his eyes a sense of not being sure – was he ready to ease into peaceful exploration and creativity, or would he fight the structure for attention?

Right away I grabbed the book I knew he would love – Give Me Back My Bones. “Look what I found for you! Would you like this book? Can I help you get your mat out?”

Like a car filled with gas, a big smile spread across his face, we got his mat ready together, and he snuggled down to read his new favorite book.

Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration – a whisper that reminds us of what we love and an invitation to focus on that.

It is a joy to witness the growing curiosity and creativity of this band of heroes – and follow behind to nurture and water and bring to life the beauty that is inside.