Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The curious case of a monkey's 'tale'

I was out with 2 other mummy blogger friends - Jen and Connie over the weekend for a talk organized by Jacob Ballas Children's Garden and we finished with a simple picnic after. After the picnic, on the way back to our cars, I saw this on the floor.

I stopped and asked the kids, "hey look, doesn't this look like a monkey's tail?" The kids were all a little in awe but curious and proceeded to squat down and stared at it...

I asked again "do you think that it's a monkey's tail?" And started what was a lovely discussion...

Isa (Connie's son) was very enthusiastic and said that "yes, it could be a monkey's tale because it looks furry." He also added that the color was 'right' too. Dumpling disagreed and said "if it were a monkey's tail, there should be blood. So what happened to it and to the trail? And where's the body," she added. 

DinoBoy (Jen's son) then joined the kids at this moment and gave his thoughts - "yes, it is a monkey's tail." 

"So where's the blood?" I asked.

"Something in the tree must have drank all of the monkey's blood and then bitten the tail off. That's why there's no more blood on this now." He clarified.

I smiled. I love it. I have always loved these discussions with Dumpling and am always in awe with children's minds.

I continued to let the children discuss, taking on more of a role as an observer. Then DinoBoy asked "where did this come from?" And so, this prompted another round of discussion as they looked for the source of origin. At that moment, another 'tail' dropped and landed on the floor. Then the kids looked up. Finally, together, they found the 'tails' on the tree above. 

I picked up a piece and proceeded to open it and showed it to kids.

(DinoBoy must have decided that it was safer to watch from a distance in case of blood spurting out!)

On the inside, it looked more fibrous then anything else and there was no blood stains or any hint of 'blood'. So the kids pretty much ruled out that it was the tail of monkey but instead, it came from the tree. :)

I received PMs and at times emails from readers and friends on the discussions that I have with Dumpling. Since young, I rarely give Dumpling a direct answer to her questions but would instead ask her other questions to help direct her attention to some details in guiding her to observe and compare. Now that she's older, I can see that she's able to draw relationships between the 'cause' and 'effect' and importantly, I like that she's about to deduce and make inferences. 

Dumpling did not stop there, her questions came fast and furious once we were in the car:

- 'Mama, what happens to a monkey if he has no more tail? Will he die?' (To which I asked 'What do you think? In your opinion what do monkeys use it for? How does this affect him?)
- 'Do they then regenerate their tails like lizards?'
- 'Hmmm... besides Shark and Lizards, what else have capabilities to regenerate?'

When you are next out with the kiddos for some outdoor fun, be observant and engage them in observations and discussions. Who knows, you may be 'luckier' than us and spot a tiger's tail next! :p

Connie also wrote about the Herbs and Spice talk our kiddos attended. Hop on over for a quick read! DinoMama, on the other hand, captured some comical moments of our 3 kids!

(Photo source: Connie ~ thank you!)

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