kids-play-learnHave you ever taken the time to observe child play?  Or notice how kids play in the playground, in your own backyard or in the classrooms?

As parents and teachers of toddlers and young preschoolers will agree, kids are sources of great humor and profound insights. Around them, no object is plain, and wonder is commonplace.

In the eyes of a child, just about anything is fascinating. Their minds are always full of images. When they look at something, they see more than we do. Any piece they get a hold on can suddenly become an airplane, a bus, or even a monster. Ordinary things like pencils can become magic pointers.  And they can wear their bath towels and become superheroes to save the day.

In the eyes of a child, just about anything brings wonder.  Ants crawling on the floor, a spider creating a spider web, how the leaves feel on their hands, how free it is to run and just run or chase each other.

When they draw or paint, what we see as plain patches of colors here and there are really houses, animals, and trees and mountains and puppies.

They will draw about their favorite persons and express what they feel inside.  I recall a friend sharing how her niece would draw a family with the dad missing.  When asked, “Why is daddy not on your drawing?”  She replied with the honesty of a child, “Because he is always away.”

Openness is the quality of their minds. This being so, realizations hit them at random. Proof of this is one incident in the Nursery 1 class, where 2 year old boy suddenly proclaimed, “Teacher, teacher, Tina is a girl.” And when the teacher said, “Don is a boy.”, he excitedly declared, “I am a boy!”

When was the last time we were excited that we are a boy or a girl?  This incident made all the teachers laughed with delight.

Their curiosity is also striking. One time, when the class was listening to the story, The Brave Little Giant, 3 year old Kim asked, “Do giants eat people?”

The gifts of curiosity and wonder are to be cherished. A creative mind makes for a healthy child.

child-play TIPS TO REMEMBER:

Watch your child at play.  You will see what are the things he/she is interested at;  how she responds to situations

Child play is also imaginative play. Don’t stifle their imaginations by telling them that is not true. Don’t rush them into practical and realistic thinking. Enjoy their imaginations. Creativity is encouraged and enhanced by imaginative play.

Kids play and learn at the same time. There are many opportunities to learn during play time. Be it learning concepts (i.e. ants or spiders) or teaching kids to handle their emotions (i.e. sport minded or playing fair).

Child play is the perfect way to play, learn and imagine.

By:  Michelle Simtoco

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