This morning I woke up with reading a beautiful article that was shared through facebook and it inspired me to add my own few words. But here is the article, and I encourage you to read it.
When you watch most kids these days, most playing gets done with toys if you are lucky, many don’t know how to play at all. As this article describes it wasn’t always like this. Not many toys were or are really needed for imaginary play but to break the kids from the habit, takes time.
Even though I was fortunate enough to have many toys, and even electronics in my childhood, I played creatively. Creative and unstructured play is disappearing out of our children’s world and we need to try to teach it to our kids. I have seen the difference with my own daughter now. As she is just about to turn 7 years old, I didn’t see enough of that unstructured play but with our recent lifestyle changes it is coming back to her.
Back in public school, she had literally no time to have this unstructured playtime. Simply, because it takes time, time that she didn’t have with public school and the tight daily schedule. Not always can you expect a child to just sit down with ,for example a castle and imagine up a gigantic story of dragons, knights and princesses. Sometimes the magic happens, but sometimes the child needs a bit of time to develop ideas. Ideas can spark from many things, together with lots and lots of reading, a little TV, adventures and outings together these ideas can com from them on their own.
A great way to also spark ideas is to find listening cds. They are harder to find here in the states unfortunately, but the UK and Germany offer a lot more in english, and you can easily order them on amazon straight to your home in the US. I grew up with so many listening cd’s, whole children series that we now still listen to and love. A true childhood treasure I can share with my own children now.
Sometimes a child needs to learn to be bored and just come up with those ideas on their own. That transition can be hard for children and parent as well. The whining, of not knowing what to do. And of course, we all have days where we just don’t feel like we want to do anything. Adults the same as kids, and occasionally that’s totally okay in my book.
So today I ask you to simply give your kids, a little bit more of freedom. Step away and let them explore, let them find imaginary play. Make ressources available for them to use, but don’t overwhelm them with stuff.
Let’s watch and litsten to those beautiful stories our kids make up !!