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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET rocks, shells, leaves, sticks, and acorns we find outdoors. It’s also about the discarded treasures that captivate children’s imaginations—the shiny gold candy wrapper, the pink plastic ring from the juice bottle cap, or the little milk carton that looks like a tiny house with a slanted roof. Children enjoy finding the secrets that adults have overlooked. They love to make something out of nothing: a plastic bowl can become a boat, a handful of paper clips can be made into a necklace. Sometimes the pleasure in finding and collecting is the ability to keep adding more and more to the collection. A wealth of small items, such as buttons or bolts, can be endlessly counted, sorted, and categorized. The process of finding and collecting interesting stuff increases our awareness of the world around us and makes us more conscientious about how we use our resources. A collection can be a group of items or objects in a box, but a collection can also be a group of experiences, such as keep- ing a list of the cars you see with out-of-state license plates. The pleasure is in the pursuit and discovery. Chapter 8 examines the ways parents can support and encourage their children in the finding and collecting of interesting stuff. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving your child a box to put her rocks in. 9 • Telling Stories with Toys Every culture has stories to tell. Stories offer a way of collecting, remember- ing, and honoring our experiences. Children sense this in the ways their ears prick up each time they hear “Once upon a time . . .” Telling a story is serious business but it is also part of play. Children tell stories with words and actions, through pretend play with toys and props, or they tell stories without words, through drawings or sound effects and movement as they play with Spider-Man figures or Polly Pocket Playsets. If there were a family tree of essential play experiences, telling a story with toys would be closely related to pretending and make-believe. Both play experiences stretch the imagination. Chapter 9 looks at the complexity of storytelling in the lives of young children and the role of parents in nur- turing that process. Play Is Still Play … 9 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL