Thursday, October 21, 2010

Creative Play

 The kids usually get up in the morning, eat breakfast and then play for a while (at least an hour if not more) on their own before we delve into any school-type activities.  This is often some of the most creative play of the day -- and I was particularly impressed by LD's idea today.  He took this little jack-o-lantern and some yarn and said he wanted to be able to send secret messages.  So here's what he devised:

1) the yarn extends from inside one room to the inside of the other room
2) a piece of string is attached to one side of the pumpkin and wraps around a door knob so it can be pulled into his room
3) another piece of string is attached to the other side of the pumpkin handle and is wrapped around a knob so that DD can pull it into her room

They spent well over an hour ringing a bell to let the other person know that a secret message was ready to be retrieved!

So much of what I share are the more school-related activities and crafts, but those are just brief snapshots.  To be honest, the kids spend much more of their day at play.
Although I'm like every else and stress that I'm not doing enough in this or that subject, I recognize and value the importance of play (and try to take comfort in that when the pace of our day isn't what I would like it to be.)  I've read a couple of good articles about how important play is for children to process and learn from the world around them (sorry, I don't have any good links to share).  And, I take comfort in the Steiner School philosophy of gentle, natural play during the early years (okay, so LD loves to build Lego ships whose main job is to blow up other things, but you know what I mean!) 
LD's Lego Submarine Creation (about 9 or 10 inches across)

There's nothing that noteworthy about this picture except that it's typical of their play--using a smattering of all kinds of things to create their stories and games.
And yesterday, I just loved hearing their shrill screams of joy as they tried to catch leaves as they fell off the trees! 


  1. I completely agree! Sometimes, the best learning comes from play. My little ones really love taking from what they've learned about the "real world" and reinacting it. We just recently went to a Civil War Days Weekend train ride and my 5 year old has been playing Civil War every day since! It amazes me how much they retain and learn. When our children are all grown up, they really will remember those days where they played in the fall leaves, ran through the backyard during a rainstorm, or caught fireflies in the evening. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I just left you a very long comment but hit the wrong button...
    Thank you for sharing this with us! I too feel I don't do enough. My kids also love playing creatively and with Legos. All the want to do is PLAY PLAY PLAY more than anything in the world.