Christie says in her post introducing the idea that she believes play is a child's 'work'. I absolutely believe that too. It's what they do to grow, learn and develop. It also gives them a sense of purpose and helps them to work out their place in the world, just to mention a few of it's benefits.
But, as parents, I also believe it's kinda our 'work' too. When we bring these wonderful, sweet beings into the world, it's our job to care for them, to love them and to help them grow. So, it's our work and responsibility to take play seriously, to encourage it, allow time for it, to value it and nurture it and to advocate it's importance at every opportunity.
So well done Christie and everyone else who is getting involved. Here is my favourite play experience from our house this week.
What's going on here?
I made these 'roads' last year sometime. They usually live outside, but with the weather being so cold and wet here in Melbourne at the moment, I've let a few outside toys come in. This has given these roads a new lease on life. They have been used as roads/ramps/bridges and platforms leading down from our stairs.
The kids have put various things underneath them as support (you can see a couch cushion here) and have used small and large cars, animals and trains with them.
These two humble pieces of wood have led to many discussions about scientific ideas (physics mostly) and how to solve problems. These discussions have naturally arisen as the play has gone along and my two don't even really realise the learning that is going on.
You see, big cars don't drive so well on the narrow pieces of wood, so their configuration needed to be modified for that. Some cars veer off, so that needed to be fixed with some angle adjustments. Sometimes Ed wants the cars to go fast, other times slow and again, modifications need to be made. He has solved all of these problems on his own or with a bit of help from his big sister and while doing so has cemented a foundation for scientific learning later in his life.
All the while, the kids have been strengthening fine motor skills while moving the objects around, building on language skills while talking to each other about what might happen, what has happened and how things need to change. Not to mention working on social skills as use of equipment is negotiated and conflicts are resolved.
So, two pieces of wood sanded and painted equals lots of learning and lots of fun.
Come over and play at the 'Childhood 101' 'We Play' link up