Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Importance of Play - Part #1

Yesterday was a day of play around here. All different types of play – the running through the grass climbing type, the out-of-the-box creative type, and the get rough and tumble type, too.

We started the morning at a nearby park. As we were driving, I realized how little I’ve taken the kids to a park in the past month. Oh they’ve been to plenty with my mother and mother-in-law in the past month while I was grocery shopping or going to doctor appointments, but I’ve been missing just watching them free play in a big grassy area.

 They weren’t that interested in the playground equipment. After a little climbing, hanging and sliding, they saw some boys climbing up a nearby tree and decided that was definitely something they wanted to try. With a little help from me, Jared made it so high up that tree! He’s my daring, adventurous boy. Alexa tried, but opted instead for climbing on the fence instead.

We ran across the grass to the other side of the park where there is a piece of climbing equipment in the shape of a car. It’s actually the same car my brother played on (who is now 32) when he was 7 and broke his collar bone. They thought the car was pretty cool to climb on for a few minutes, and then drifted over to the mud to dig “houses.”

I should backtrack a little to say when we first entered the park, a crew of men were clearing branches and wood chips scattered during the recent storm. The kids asked where they were taking the “garbage,” which led to an interesting discussion.

So, after they dug their houses, they gathered sticks twigs and leaves and called it their garbage pile. I just love how kids incorporate things they see, hear and experience in their daily lives into their play. It’s amazing just to sit back and watch the process.

They then found a family of kids, ages ranging from 1 to 10.  Both kids have been amazing me with how bold they have become lately with going up to strangers, talking so freely and making friends so quickly. They practically talked the ears off the man who came over four days ago to fix the stove. Thankfully, he was cool with it.

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