Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
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. Good thing he wasn’t dressed as Superman; I’d have been even more excited.
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. He shared that as a child he would combine plastic army figurines and blocks and mix them up together. Then, he would spread them out and create stories to go along with how they happened to be. He said that he used to do this for hours.
Children are all unique, with their own strengths, interests and challenges. They will play differently, too. It’s fascinating to find out about the chef who wanted an easy-bake oven even though it was a girls toy, the Disney designer who loved to draw, the figure skater seen going round and round in circles as a toddler in home movies. Looking back, we can see the hints of what these people would choose to do as adults in the way they played as children.
Too often, we dismiss what children do as “child’s play”. To kids, their play is incredibly important. Play is how children interface with the world. Thru play they learn, cope, and figure out themselves and the world. They do not limit their play to toys, but use whatever is available, often scaring their parents and caregivers. Kids will play by themselves or with others, with real objects or imaginary ones. Play is children’s work and, to kids, work can be play. Whether it’s helping us rake leaves, wash dishes, or pretending to fly as a superhero, kids will work and play hard.
One of the best ways to support children is to make sure they have time and opportunity to play. How will your child play today?
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
When grownups get to play, they really play. Outdoor ice hockey in Dodger Stadium? Along with beach volleyball and the rock band KISS? The extravaganza in Los Angeles, California may be because adults play so seldom. Over 54,000 people came out to play, underscoring that play is important no matter our age. In the wordsContinue Reading