You know that old joke about kids on Christmas morning only wanting to play with the boxes? I'm not saying it's exactly true, but it pretty much is. There are a lot of different styles of teachers out there, and we've been blessed to know many fantastic ones over the years. This is a near perfect example of the kind of open ended play that we try to champion whenever we get the chance. Give the kids some materials, provide a framework in the form of a story or discussion of interests, let the kids work through to their own personal, logical conclusion. The results were often very cool and exciting.
A few weeks ago, the girls made play doh, and it turned out terribly wrong. Chemistry is amazing. It became a fantastic sensory experience though, as both of the kids wanted to play in the resulting goop, squishing and stretching and pulling and plopping it. Serious fun for about an hour.