O NCE there was a little boy of six who had for one of his Christmas presents a wonderful train, with tracks, switches, stations, and everything complete. His parents were very proud of their wisdom and generosity in selecting it, and after it was undone they spent an hour or so in setting it up and getting it to run properly. They were so absorbed that they did not notice that the boy was not in the room.
He was finally found in the kitchen with an old colored man, marshaling some lumps of coal in line for "soldiers" while the old negro described to him the movements of a battle. He didn't want his play ready-made. He wanted to discover play opportunities in simple materials.
Out in her kitchen every mother can find enough profitable playthings and activities to keep a child busy from infancy until he is old enough to go to school, without ever needing to visit a toy store.
What the Kitchen Furnishes
There is the water. The baby loves to dabble in it. The older child is proud to learn how to turn it on and off, and enjoys playing in the soapsuds.
There is the fire. The child likes to watch it kindled and see it burn. He likes to observe the mystery of turning on the gas and the electricity. He is exalted when he is permitted to master these operations himself.
There is the kitchen cabinet, with its arsenal of spoons and knives and dishes, its flour and sugar and spices.
The drawers and cupboards are a treasure, with their cans and covers, lids and openers, paper and strings, and the piece-bag.