Don’t you just love those moments where a combination of children’s creativity, intelligence and mischievousness shine? One such example last week means that I can no longer look at Salad Hands in the same way!

It happened amidst the usual morning rush when I asked my 6 year old if he could get the sandwiches out of the fridge to go into their packed lunch bags. I knew something was occurring when he sat protectively clutching both bags, something I normally struggle to get him to take responsibility for! When I eventually peaked inside his lunchbox I discovered a pair of wooden salad hands! With a wide grin he explained, “I was going to eat my lunch with them!” On his way to the kitchen he’d spied the salad spoon samples that I’d sourced for a possible product. Sadly supply problems meant the product never actually came to fruition. Shame really judging by how they caught his eye and inspired his imagination.

The image of him sitting at school grappling Edward Scissorhands-like with his wrap has made me smile ever since. A bit like that classic Red Dwarf episode, the one with the mind boggling Mimosian anti-matter chopsticks.  As for his explanation, it was the sort of comment which makes you bristle with pride and know that they’re going to be OK when they grow up! In his sister’s lunchbox he’d included half a chocolate bar. Once rectified and returned to the fridge, this gave great cause for celebration at this wonderful moment of brotherly love.

So often when it comes to working with children our role is critical in either supporting or crushing children’s ideas. The chocolate was easy, being banned at school and only allowed as a rare treat, but what of the salad hands? In my rush I reasoned with him that he would probably get into trouble if he took them to school and he accepted this logic. But since then I can’t help feeling that in doing so I robbed him of his magical idea. Which brings me to tea tonight…!