For Elliot's actual birth day celebration, Andrea and I took him to the children's museum for the first time.There were, of course, a ton of amazing things to explore--a whole baby area, a grocery store, magnets, lights and shadows, a performance stage, an entire water room. But I thought the best part was the clay studio. It was really big and had a whole area of tables low to the ground with clay on them especially for the wee ones to explore. Turns out Elliot really likes to squeeze clay... HARD. The older kids had higher tables and an unlimited amount of clay and tools. For a few dollars you can glaze and fire your piece, or you can just sit and squeeze and sculpt to your heart's content without any commitment. The museum was full of photos documenting kids at play, with gentle instructions for the adults with them on how to engage in and facilitate the child's play. I loved it. That's the kind of stuff that excites me. It makes me miss being a preschool teacher. And it makes me miss all of the academic work I've done studying children's play. There's just something about it that turns my brain on and keeps me energized and engaged. Children's play and how they use it as a learning tool. That's my thing. What's yours?