So imagine my delight when Lesley from Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School told me she would gather some more this year for me & send them over along with some hickory nuts.
The box arrived in the first week of school, the gumballs will be saved for painting nearer Christmas time but the hickory nuts went straight out into the playground along with the painted gumballs that Ayn had sent. I put them onto the 'forest area' of the playground for the children to use as loose parts in their play.
The children embraced these 'props' immediately & began to incorporate into their play scenarios - we had lots of pine cones - they became treasure to be carted around in the back of bikes or the special ingredients in making the perfect soup!
They have enjoyed filling the red tops up with all the fallen leaves & stirring in hickory nuts, pinecones & gumballs with sticks before serving their soup up to anyone willing to 'taste' it.
I love that through friendships forged through social media I am able to add a little extra ingredient to the outdoor play area & it's lovely to watch the children exploring these props/loose parts as they settle into nursery.