I recently was so pleased to receive a trap to hang in my classroom. Our Pre-Kindergarten art teacher brought some by and I got to choose one. It looks like it’s parts- a styrofoam tray, some orange plastic webbing, some twine, and a few feathers, loosely assembled. I hung it by my classroom door. It is starting to mean a lot to me.
Here’s the story. The teacher noticed that our young students were talking a lot about traps in their play. When he suggested that they plan and build traps, they were excited. When he asked what the traps would catch, of course they said “bad guys.” Well, they discussed how our school is already a place safe from bad guys, so what else could it trap? They decided bad feelings.
So thanks to our altruistic Pre-K’ers, willing to share their constructions, we are now each the happy recipients of handy-dandy traps that catch bad feelings! The trap-makers received some thank-you notes. A Kindergarten class analyzed how theirs might work: “the coffee filter could snap shut and catch the bad feelings,” “the bad feelings could get stuck on the orange lines,” “the plastic tail could come down and trap the bad feelings,” and “if you say a bad feeling it could go up and get to the blue thing and not get through.”
One third grade class cautioned them, “Be careful when you get it back because it has the bad feelings in it.”
My trap has already started working. When I was scolding a little girl for not listening, it helped whisk away my bad, angry feeling and allowed me to figure out she was just not quite finished playing pandas with her friend. I’m so glad I have my trap to help me. A little magic never hurts.