Just play.

I came across a blog called PhD in Parenting and she is hosting a Carnival of Play. I recommend you check it out because it contains:

* Thoughts and Ideas About Play
* Book Reviews
* Product Reviews
* Research on playing
* Fun playtime activities
* Contest
* ….and your posts (if you feel like participating)!

My whole blog is dedicated to finding playful ways that kids can learn about the world around them. I take plenty of pictures of the things the kids do that are guided learning experiences, and I have commented on the importance of imaginative and creative play and what can be gained through play. But I rarely post actual spontaneous pictures on the thing they do most of all – engage in free play. That takes up the bulk of their day. The activities we have done on our blog usually take up only a small part of their day (5-10 minutes here and there).

One of the blessings of having 3 girls spaced 20 months apart is that they are natural, built-in playmates. I rarely have to find them friends to play with, because they are really good at entertaining each other. They once spent three days pretending to be characters from Harry Potter – my oldest daughter drew a lightening bolts onto a piece of paper and taped it to her forehead, my middle daughter draped herself in a dark green satin wrap I once wore in my sister in law’s wedding to portray Professor McGonagall, my youngest favored playing Crookshanks the cat and they all ran around with chopsticks as wands and cast spells like “Wingardium Leviosa”, “Expecto Patronum” and “Oculus Reparo”.

Here are a few spontaneous moments captured:

Playing dress-up in a Japanese tea room at St Joseph’s children’s museum:
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Water play
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Sand play (digging for treasures of flat marbles for gems, shells, coins, small toys)
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Sharing a toy fire truck
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Playing ball in the backyard
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Scholastic.com has a wonderful article on pretend play. Through pretend play, children learn social and emotional skills (experimenting with social and emotional roles of life), language skills (often reflecting words they’ve heard us say) and critical thinking skills (such as searching for solutions to problems during block play or creating a new game).

No doubt about it, play is important work for a child and they need the time and the freedom to engage in open-ended, unstructured play.

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4 Responses to Just play.

  1. teachingyoungchildren says:

    Thanks for pointing out that great blog. I am going to write a post on play tomorrow too!

  2. growinginpeace says:

    I’m glad you like it. I thought it was pretty fantastic myself!

  3. Pingback: Final Thoughts on Importance of Play - Carnival Posts (Part 7) | PhD in Parenting

  4. Pingback: PLAY! Definitive Resource on Play and Parenting | PhD in Parenting

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