The Punk is a creature of habit. Lots of habits. Lots of schedules. Lots of little things can throw him off kilter. He's getting so much better at bouncing back, but we still need to work on these little quirks once in a while. And so, he went to his room to calm down. When he came back out he was ready (but still not convinced it was a good idea) to try the "other things" in the PlayDoh.
With toothpicks, beads, Popsicle sticks, bits of drinking straws, buttons and pipe cleaners we made so many unusual things! Bugs and snakes, birds and pizza! We experienced all the textures that we wouldn't have felt if we had used the ordinary tools.
And we had fun. He began to smile. He began to create. He found new uses for things that only had other purposes in his mind. We rolled, we counted, we smooshed.
We found that everything on the tray could be used to make something different. Something new. And it was cool to see him open up and enjoy another approach to the same old PlayDoh he's so used to playing with. I was proud of him. He opened his mind and used his imagination.
And the moment we were done and all cleaned up he said "I'm glad that's over. Now we never have to do that again. We can just use PlayDoh tools from now on."