Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just Go Play

As always, click to enlarge photos
 I adore the picture below, but felt like making my own version (above) because so often older kids aren't encouraged to play enough, or sometimes at all. I wanted a picture that conveys play at many ages. I remembered that I recently had snapped this photo of my older and younger boys just playing and being silly. They were running, jumping, chasing each other, bouncing on an inflatable, and as they rolled to the ground I thought: this is what childhood is about. The youngest 21 months and the oldest 12 years old. Older kids enjoy play too. A release from the hardships or just plain mundane responsibilities of life, chores, and school work. Be it time with siblings, alone, or with friends; play builds imaginations and memories. So many 'big' kids just don't have enough play in their lives. Older kids still learn from playing too. Just because a person learns something doesn't mean they don't have more to learn, or different things to learn. Playing with others, exploring our world, thinking, problem solving, creating, making friends, riding bikes, coming up with games, skipping stones, catching frogs, tossing around a ball are all timeless and ageless activities. My kids keep themselves busy most of the time, but every kid gets bored. Boredom isn't always a bad thing though. I tell my kids that great innovative thinking and ideas can come from boredom.

I enjoy giving my kids classic toys like: jump ropes, bubbles, chalk, hula hoops, jacks, marbles, paint, hop scotch, sand, swords, and tire swings. Encouraging this kind of simple play is healthy, fun and wholesome...but I do it also because I hope, hope, hope with all my heart they will be inspired (despite this digital age that is so dependent on electronics) to make 100% sure their children one day have an extended opportunity to just PLAY. I see my role clearly: make sure my kids have plenty of time and opportunity to be kids.  Other jobs I have: Tell them to be kids, tell them why, play with them, enjoy them, tell them to make play a priority for their own kids, and take pictures of it all.

Other places to read about the importance of play:
Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills

Climb, Swing & Snuggle: Reading Readiness Involves the Whole Body


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