Monthly Archives: October 2015

Not Your Typical Fundraiser

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 I am not trying to raise money, though it would appear that way.  I want to encourage people to think about childhood play differently.

I see children all the time on their phones, tablets, and computers.  The little ones play “TV” and set up a couch to sit on.  

I see parents who are working hard, keeping busy, and shuffling kids around in a hurry. Adults are always on their phones, myself included, and we’re often distracted.

I think back to my childhood, and times I spent playing in the woods.  I feel happy when I think of the fast sledding “track” we made, the big rocks we used to climb on, and the stream we used to wade in.

Let’s send our kids out to play!  It is critical to connect our children with nature in this hurried time in which we live.  Your child will feel more peaceful, in touch with the earth, and be a more creative thinker.

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New shirt design is available till November 12th!  Tees are $13 and the hoodies are so soft, you’ll want to wear them everyday!

Share the link and help me out if this is a message you believe in! Thank you! 

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What’s the big deal with play?

  So I’m attending my annual conference and I finally have time to write. Sorry it’s been so long, though thankfully I have lots of renewed energy tonight so let’s talk about play.  It’s such a popular word in early education these days, but what are they all talking about?  Isn’t just about kids using toys? 

No it’s not, it’s much much more. It’s the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky.  It’s the method by which children are living their lives, their anchor, their work.  The definition of play in our field is usually described in a paragraph with so many terms and variations.  The common threads are enjoyment, participation and engagement.

Different types of play occur throughout a child’s development.  There’s no schedule or order, no wrong or right, though some patterns exist.  There are natural shifts in the kind of play as children’s environment, community, and minds take shape.

  • Solitary: a child plays alone
  • Parallel: a child plays alongside another child without interaction
  • Cooperative: children interact as they work toward a goal
  • Symbolic: a child uses one object to represent another
  • Sociodramatic: pretend play in which a child takes on a role
  • Games with rules: children follow guidelines dictated by an established game
  • Mature: a child will dive deeply into their play, staying with it for an extended period of time

Please keep in mind that each type of play serves a purpose, and has its own value.  For example, a child who pretends a ball is an apple will later be better equipped to visually represent quantity.  A child taking on a role is learning to self-regulate, practicing self-control.  

I’m interested in hearing what children say when asked, “what is play?” You probably wouldn’t hear words like problem-solving, achievement, creativity, imagination, identity, or persistence.  But if you observe carefully, you’ll see these qualities and more.  And they make for amazing adults; adults which will one day take care of us, our planet, and the children to come.  So next time you think play might just be a simple word with little meaning, think of all that is gained from it.

  
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