I put the farm stuff out and the boys jumped right in.
"Gates! We need gates...so the pigs won't get out!"
I watched some of the play. I moved to other places in the room, and then I heard my name called from the blocks center. I walked back over.
"Mr. Scott, guess what's in here."
"I don't know. What's in there?"
"The goat. He's in here so he won't eat the pigs."
(I wonder where the concept of isolation and timeout came from?)
A little while later, I heard arguing. "No...the sheep don't go in there. They go here."
"But that's a house."
"It's for the sheep."
Then...the appeal. "Mr. Scott, he says the sheep don't go in here. But they do...."
I fell back on my most recent way to deal with this type of thing.
I said, "You need to work it out." And they did.
After a little while, I came upon this.
"All of the animals are together," I said.
"They are safe here."
"Safe from the flood."
These buildings were built just for the flood. A few minutes after I snapped this, I heard, "The flood!" and all buildings crashed to the floor and the "flood" (one of the boys) swept through the buildings.
Then the rebuilders came in and new constructions arose.
Imaginative play, problem solving, conflict and resolution, fun. This farm yielded a great crop.