Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Play is Work...

Play is work.

For kids, I mean.

I get so frustrated with all the preschool programs that teach academic things that I could scream! {My sister-in-law as a pre-schooler-- she has been a legal assistant for over 30 years]
For kids, play is work! I think if adults would realize that, we would not try to rush and ruin the built in educational system that God has designed for little children. They are inquisitive, they ask questions, when they are ready to know something they try to do it, or ask about it, they learn quickly. And they play.

I love watching kids play. They are so creative. I mean, when I watched my boys play with match box cars they would drive them around, make engine noises, create road systems [small motor coordination], toss them up and let them drop [gravity training], see how many they could put in a bucket [spacial training], sort them in a million different ways and so forth. Look at all that math learned through play.

When Kari played with the same toys, she did a lot of the same things, minus the engine noises. She would drive the cars around and say things like, "OK, lets get out and buy some milk," or "Here we are at the library." Same cars, different play. She was much more verbal, much more directed- and her play was work too.

And the sandbox. I LOVE the sandbox-talk about play being work. Kids use small muscles, large muscles, engineering, city planning, molding, sculpting, getting along with sandbox mates and so forth. And if you add water to the sandbox, things just get better!

OK, I will admit it. I come from a long line of sandbox lovers. We always had a LARGE sandbox-not those little plastic turtle things they have now-a-days, but a huge sandbox that was so big that we had to have a dump-truck come and dump a load of sand at our house. I had one as a child and so did our kids. We thought of it as standard child rearing equipment. My mom loved the sandbox. As a grandma she would sit with the kids and play if she had a chance, and at the beach she was always playing with sand in some shape or form. My mom told me once about the sandbox she has as a kid and how she played in it till she was really too old for it.

I said, "How old were you mom?"

Mom, "Well, till I started dating your father." [And she wasn't kidding! She was 15 when she started dating Dad!]

See what I mean about having a history with sandbox play.

But, in addition to that-bikes and rope swings and balls and wagons and puzzles and blocks and dolls are all part of work for kids. They need play. They learn more from play than from some contrived activity at a pre-school.

Now I am not saying that preschools are all bad, nor am I saying that if a 3 year old wants to learn their letters you should withhold information; all I am saying is preschool is not necessary to have a well rounded child. They will not have their academic future ruined if they do not go to preschool or have preschool at home. Seriously!

I mean, my generation never went to preschool-we never heard of it. Yet, there are rocket scientists, brain surgeons, Nobel Peace Prize winners and so forth that are my age. How did we manage to actually learn to do anything without preschool? Playing. Good old fashion play.

For kids, play is work. I believe that with my whole heart.

Play. is. work.

More about preschool tomorrow...
Take care,

For more of my Pre-School thoughts and suggestions:

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