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In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The art of play

I’ve heard lots of complaints from various parents recently that their children don’t really know how to play and that they are exhausted from trying to keep their children entertained.

Isn’t that sad? When did it become a parents job to entertain their children?


It’s almost like play has become a lost art  these days …with too many distractions & toys that require batteries and little imagination…and parents that take on the job of entertaining instead of supervising.


I am talking about the kind of play that doesn’t require batteries, or directions. I’m talking about the kind of play that gets dirty or wet or lets you be somebody else in a far away land.



Playing make believe


making their own

fun is good for their


IMG_3100I believe  that play is the most important tool of learning in the early years….and even beyond.  I believe that actual playing…the kind that is using the imagination and not being guided or interfered by adults is the very best kind of play.

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There is nothing like digging oneself deep into the trenches of play…the kind of play where time is lost and the world around you is your playground…the kind where at the end of the day, you need a bath.

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Give a child(ren) a box, some rocks, some sticks, some water, and an empty bucket and if an adult doesn’t interfere by telling them what they should do with these things, they will be entertained for hours. I believe the more a child plays in this manner the better they get at it.

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I believe that tv’s, computers, and video games need to be unplugged and used less. Now mind you I am not against these things as I think they have a time & place, but I do think they can steal away time, imagination and the ability to think for yourself, if not used with balance.

The physical playing that isn’t about winning or losing but having fun…like running, jumping, hiding, twirling, pretending, somersaults, kicking & throwing balls, chasing and all other forms of physical fun seems to be lost to sitting in front of a screen that entertains.



Do we ever wonder, like I do, if this is one of the reasons we have a child obesity problem in the US?

I have heard of schools cutting out recess in order to have more time in the classroom. I shutter to think how taking away this time for play could in the end hurt their learning.

The sound of playing is beautiful. Yes, sometime it’s loud and crazy but really it’s so much fun.

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Have you ever just stopped and listened to kids playing? Listen to their laughter and chatter, it will surely make you smile. Or have you just stopped and observed children lost in play? Could you see their smiles and the way their eyes danced? Doesn’t it make  you smile and remember what it was to be a child and so free ?




To have a recorder to record the priceless conversations.


One of the greatest gifts we can give a child, is to get down to their level and play with them. Not all the time, or they don’t learn how to play by themselves, but sometimes.   Playing helps us to not forget what it means to be a child and helps us see the world through their eye’s. Us playing, shows them that we are willing to meet them where they are at.


There is something so perfectly beautiful about seeing adults playing in wild abandonment with children…to see the joy and the freedom and their smiles.  

Do you allow yourself to play? When is the last time you allowed yourself the fun of play?

Well, I am off to work and then when I get done with work, I am grabbing up the little’s and my daughter and going off to play for a few days at the cabin up north. It’s our last days of summer and soon school will begin.

Until next time, love & hugs, Lori


The Incredible Woody said...

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Have a wonderful time!!!
Using our imagination and laughing about silly stuff is the best part of childhood!!!

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT post, Lori. A lot of parents today seem to think that every waking minute of their child's life must be filled with something "structured" or they're too afraid to let their kids run around outside and do the things kids do when left to their own devices. It's really sad when you think about it.


TechnoBabe said...

You know you had me at turn off the TV. Using imagination and learning how to get along with others is so worth it.

Brian Miller said...

yay! have fun playing! and letting them it when they take over ans we just get to spectate...

Brittany said...

love this!

mommytoalot said...

Oh my gosh Lori what a wonderful post. It's so true.
I am happy to say that all my children know how to play.
They love to get dirty..they play 'mommy" they play hide and go seek, they play with their toys..they play play play all day day day.
Hope you have a super weekend

SciFi Dad said...

You ask me this after I spent an hour assembling a train track that loops in a figure-8 for I, uh, I mean my kids don't have to lift the trains off the track when they're playing?

Bella said...

more play, less stress! this is a great post Lori!

Colleen: said...

This is a fantastic post Lori! I can't say how much I agree with you on everything in here!:) It actually worries me when i consider the difference in how children "play" now...using the imagination and creativity is such a precious thing!
Thank you for an amazing post! I will probably read it again ad again!:)

Together We Save said...

I was so blessed to have girls who wanted to get out and play.. or play inside as the weather allowed. They all had/have wonderful imaginations.

Hilary said...

Oh those wonderful faces. They just brighten my day. I'm glad they know how to really play.

Debbie said...

You are such a wonderful grandmother and mother. Thanks for the reminder of how we were all brought up to be creative as kids. Some of my best memories are from my childhood....and having backyard carnivals with things from my mothers junk drawer! We made enough money to "walk" down to the local store and buy penny candies that were 2 for a penny! We were ALWAYS outside building or creating something! We had a camp in the back woods that all the neighbor kids belonged to and help build. It was heaven.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

What a fabulous, fabulous post!

Pseudo said...

Dress up, water games, and finger painting were some of my favorites with my kids when they were little.