Joy had a classmate over for a playdate last week after school. This classmate's older sib had been a kindergarten classmate of Rose's three years ago and they're still close, so it was a double-decker playdate of younger girls and older. This was the first time in several years that the younger sib had come over to really spend significant time with Joy.
We started the playdate with all of us walking home from school together, about a 15 minute affair. On my way to school, I had grabbed a couple of little twigs of pine needles for Joy as I often do, because it's a favorite stimmy of hers. This time, as Joy's classmate came running over to us instead of heading for the bus, I realized that the pine twigs could be a great tool to invite her into a bit of Joy's world for the walk home.
So I gave one twig to Joy (who grabbed it with gusto per usual) and one to her friend. I explained to the friend that Joy loves to play with pine needles, and had her try the things that Joy likes to do -- tickle herself with the soft needles, twiddle them in her fingers, crush the needles a little bit and take a sniff of the piney aroma.
Both girls carried their pine twigs the whole walk home.