So many of our posts are about children engaged in social interactions. The Mud-Pie kitchen is a huge hit with the two to four-year-old crowd and the sand pits and shovel gang play happily exchange tools and reinvent their uses. But, yesterday I saw something so lovely.

One three-year-old, quiet child “Chloe” stretched out in a small sand area that exists at the base of the slide. The slide was not being used, so she had this small shaded sand area all to herself.

Chloe reclined on her side, stretching her tiny legs deeper into the cool, shaded area. She lengthened her legs out, arching her feet into that cool, grainy texture. I watched quietly as she slid her little hand across her canvass of white sand. Although alone, Chloe was having a private conversation with either herself or an imaginary playmate. I couldn’t hear her conversation, but I watched on and saw her comfort and ease with herself. Playing alone.

Not wanting to interlope any further, I stymied my inclinationto run for my camera. Instead I watched Chloe, neither shy nor lonely…simply basking in the good feeling of playing by herself, creating her own reality, dipping her toes into the cool sand.

What a reminder that children need space to be creative, quietly too.