Now this new year’s resolution should be easiest of all to keep because it’s child’s play, that is making sure kids have time each day for play activities. Children learn thru play. Play is often very hard work as children are vigorously involved, both physically and mentally. They are developing their understanding of the world outside and themselves inside. Time to play is not necessarily time with games and toys or require us to play with children. Making sure that children have time each day to play is a priority.
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. There was another place that had people playing, but this time it wasn’t kids but grownups, who were determined they wouldn’t grow old.
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.
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.
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 athletes … Continue reading Soccer Helps Kids Prepare for School
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 from … Continue reading Will Your Child Be A World Cup Soccer PLAYer?
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 air … Continue reading Play Combines New and Old for Brain Connections
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 to … Continue reading What Makes Childhood Magical? Part 1: PLAY
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 his … Continue reading Playin’ and Payin’ It Forward: Cop Plays With Young Boy
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 The Name of the Game for Kids is PLAY