Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Importance of Play - Part #2

The kids amaze me with their creativity. Little kids are so good at taking objects and using them in different ways to suite their play. About a week ago, we went on the log ride at the Mall of America. It was their first really “scary” ride. So, yesterday when the kids were in the garage, Jared pulled the plastic pink sled into the house, leaned it up at the top of the couch, and the kids played log rides. They quickly learned how if they put the couch cushions at an angle they could slide further.

Then later in the afternoon, when I checked how they were doing outside, I saw Jared had dragged the corrugated cardboard I used when I used to sell used books before the kids were born. I guess he had tried to pull it up by the middle and discovered that he could pull it up into a really tall spiral. Now, suddenly it had turned into their “castle.”

Later, they dragged the Playmobile pirate ships into the bath.

And, of course, there is always the rough and tumble sort of play. We stopped at McDonald’s after dinner for a sundae (our tradition when Steve’s out of town). They climbed, crawled and jumped for an hour, making a few more friends, too. Of course, there was Jared running away from me when we had to go, trying to catch him as he jumped from table to table, and then try to quickly get his shoes on while he screams his head off,  but still, when I look back over the entire day, I just smile and think – Wow.

The play continued bright and early this morning; the kids took turns pulling each other in the sled across the floor, which was really the Nile River, down to Africa. They also spent a fair amount of time watching Scooby Doo movies while I straightened up an incredibly messy house. After coming home from Jared's doctor's appointment, they watched Quest for Camelot , so it was a pretty heavy T.V. day, which usually worries me. But then they were back to play again at night, throwing stuffed animals in the air outside, catching fireflies, pretending they were Inspector Gadget, calling out, “Go, Go, Gadget arms.”

As I write this, and overhear Steve telling the twins a combo Batman/Dr. Claw/Mad Cat story, and listen to  Jared’s dozens of interjections about how the story should go, I can’t help but wonder, what about kids who don’t have hours and hours of glorious free play? What about the kids who have to grow up in places where much of their lives are scheduled for them, where they must sit still when their little bodies are crying out to move, or when their out-of-the-box discoveries aren’t as valued?m Does that last of play affect the adult they will become? Would they have become a different person with different things to offer the world?

I wonder.

No comments: