Children all over the world dream of flying and adventuring to space, and for some kids that play can be a dream come true. Play is important for learning, fun, and readiness for school in kindergarten, but more significantly, for life!
Astronaut Chris Hadfield adventured far beyond Earth to the International Space Station Endeavour. He played the guitar and sang the first song ever recorded in space. He was inspired at the age of nine as he watched Apollo landing on the Moon, but his interest in flying began much earlier than that. Along with others written about in this series, an artist that drew on the wall about the age of 2, a nurse that played with Dr. Barbie, a mathematician that enjoyed numbers, a designer that always liked to draw, a scientist that took apart her toys and dolls, a crafter who created and sold products to her childhood friends, and a chef who wanted an Easy-Bake oven as a young boy, Chris Hadfield extended his play to a career. How can we so trivialize children’s play when time and time again, we hear stories like these?
A big empty box is an invitation to play. Children can let their imaginations take flight and transform the box into a space ship, boat, airplane, house, store, library, or wherever they want to go. Some like to leave the box plain, while others will color, glue, decorate, cut (with adult help, of course), paint, and furnish to their heart’s and imagination’s content. They will play by themselves or with others, either real or imaginary. Their thinking will be both outside and inside the box. The play will form brain connections and pathways as they problem solve, talk, move, and create.
Mankind did not reach Outer Space only because some scientists had questions. First, some children dreamed and played about it. They wondered and imagined. From play comes careers and exploration into Space. What kind of play adventure will your child have today?