It rained a little over the weekend and I wasn't the first to notice that my prediction had come to pass: the interior of our "pirate ship" had become a gooey, slippery, painty mess. The moisture had reactivated the prior week's tempera paint and Sarah pointed it out saying, "It's too messy to play in the boat."
I answered, "We'll need to wash it." The small group of children gathered around me, none of whom had been involved in the original pirate ship paint party (those guys were busy burying sticks in the sand pit), agreed.
"I'll get a bucket of warm, soapy water."
When I returned with only two rags, several voices called out, "I want one too!" so I scampered back inside for a stack of old washcloths and towels. Instead of shrinking in my absence the swabbing crew had actually grown.
No one thought it was work, yet they worked every bit as diligently as the painting crew had the week before. When they got the benches cleaned they tackled the rest of the interior.
Then they wanted to go after the exterior, but I persuaded them to leave it since the sides had remained dry and it did look pretty cool in all black. I could tell that not everyone agreed with me. Is a new color scheme in the offing?
Not a single child asked an adult to help with anything other than bringing more rags. This is their school.