Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
There is a famous quote by George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.” This weekend, I got to visit two places that are very connected to playing. The local toy store was having a celebration and sale. There were lots of families and kids of varying ages playing with some favorite toys and trying out new ones. This photo is of another place that had people playing, but this time it wasn’t kids but grownups, who were determined they wouldn’t grow old.
Several community groups, local volunteers, and generous donators have created a workshop facility for adults. After weeks and months of planning and countless hours of work, the space was organized into areas for photography and printing, woodworking, metal work, and electronics.
While the most common name is a workshop, it’s also a playspace. When adults play, it’s often called ‘tinkering’ and some members were tinkering with a small drone and some superhero-looking robots. There’s a meeting once a week where members can share their projects and get feedback and assistance from others in the group, a sort of adult play-date. This open-house was just as busy as the toy store.
The National Institute for Play has an informative article on Pattern of Play. A few types of play are:
–play with objects, such as banging on pots, throwing rocks, or doing a puzzle,
–body-play, as in climbing, running, hanging from monkey bars, rolling down hills and more,
–imaginative and pretend play, which can happen alone or with others,
–and various forms of social play, from rough-and-tumble to building a block castle and reading a story together.
These same patterns exist for adults. Think of sports, theater, music, and art. Many careers include aspects of play, especially creativity and innovation.
For your child today, opportunities for play could include some playtime with objects, movement and outside activities, sharing a few stories and books, some pretend play, and maybe something creative like crafts or art or music. Hmm, maybe that could be the on the agenda for grownups too?
Just recently, I got to meet–and have my picture taken–with actor Dean Cain who played Superman in the tv series Lois and Clark. Sometimes, the roots of careers can be found in how a child plays, so I asked Dean if, as a young child, pretend and imaginative play was a big part of how he played.Continue Reading
One of the most important ways that we can support children as they get ready to start kindergarten is let them have time and space to PLAY. Did you know that play is so essential to the healthy development of children that the United Nations High Commission has enshrined the right to play as one of the Universal Rights of the Child? Through play, children connect their inner and outer worlds, increasing their knowledge and understanding, and gaining confidence in themselves.Continue Reading
No athlete would simply arrive at a game one day and expect to play; there’s a lot that happens long before. Somehow though, we expect kids to just arrive at school one day and be able to do their best. Just like the athletes, preparation can help kids get ready for school. Many professional athletesContinue Reading
World Cup Soccer has started and some children will dream of one day playing in the championships. Did you notice that key word: PLAY? Whether it’s FIFA, the Olympics, the Stanley Cup or another great event and competition, the roots of Sport are PLAY. There will be some exciting soccer matches as these teams fromContinue Reading
During play, children can combine something they already know in a new or different way to create new brain connections. Play is important for early learning and it can happen in the most surprising places. Yesterday afternoon, Little Sister went to a birthday party at a gymnastics facility. She enjoyed jumping on the giant airContinue Reading
PLAY Makes Childhood Magical Recently, a popular article has been circulating written by Bunmi Laditan declaring “I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical.” This mom states that she’s had it with themed birthdays, elaborate crafts, and contrived memories. She explores some of the things that made childhood magical for her. After reading, I tried toContinue Reading
Play is not just a tool for young children’s early learning and development, it is a powerful way to connect hearts and lives for people of any age. Just last week, a police officer noticed a boy outside playing with a basketball and practicing shooting hoops. The officer requested and received permission to take hisContinue Reading
The Closing Ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics were an exciting display of color, light, music, and dance. While there were hundreds of adult performers, there were also hundreds of children. Three children wove their way through the magic of the story and the celebration. The athletes of future Olympic Games are the children of today.Continue Reading
Millions of people around the world are watching the Olympics and likely, in many countries, their athletes are featured in stories. While the encyclopedia says the roots of the Olympics are from ancient Greece, could it be that the Games begin in PLAY? For athletes, getting to the Olympics has been a journey of hardContinue Reading