child’s play

I’ve done a bunch of posts on my kids playing in the woods, digging in the dirt, creating new games etc. The reason for this is not that I want to show off my kids and say, “Look everyone, see how bright and creative my kids are!” What I really want to share is my passion for allowing my kids to have the kind of childhood most children had in my generation or earlier. I want them to be able to explore, build, construct, develop, negotiate, create and most of all PLAY.  All these verbs describe what we used to call just playing. I want to encourage moms not to be afraid of a little dirt, a little mess, a little chaos. The skills kids learn from free play are invaluable and transfer easily to real life. A group of kids playing in the woods, creating a “town”,  means learning how to handle garden tools and construction tools, learning how to negotiate with each other over who lives where, who owns what,  what the rules of the community are going to be.  It means learning how to make things, expanding your imagination, and creating a sense of ownership and responsibility.  Yeah, sometimes I see one of the kids stomping out of the wood, huffing and puffing about something. But before you know it, they’re back, either negotiating or acquiescing. So you’re likely to see more posts on this subject. 🙂

What do you think about child’s play?  Do you think our kids today are over scheduled and don’t have enough “down” time free of electronics?  What kind of things to  you let your kids do that run counter to today’s helicopter parenting?

~ Lora

About Lora

I am a 40 something wife to my patient and talented husband Scott, Mom to my five children (from toddler to teen) and oldest sister to eight siblings. I am interested in too many things, love to read everything around me, and have developed a strong interest in design and renovation along with my husband. I am conservative, Christian, and by the grace of God, trying to find His way through the ups and downs of my life.
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7 Responses to child’s play

  1. Nicolette says:

    I love having a sandbox. But I confess that I am delighted right now to put Jules in front of a video so I can have a nap! So I’m kinda in the middle – some monkeying around in dirt piles and some technological interaction is ok, too. It’s all about balance, I think. Jules is into making “beds” out of blankets all around the house – it was fine for a day or too but now I’m sick of it so I’m limiting the mess to her bedroom or playroom. Okay, time for that nap!

    • Lora says:

      She’s still young and needs more supervision, and wants your interaction regularly. With a bunch of kids there’s nothing better than messing around outside or (even though it does make me cringe) inside. Btw when do you nap? In the morning???

  2. Carol says:

    O wow. I didn’t realize all that I was teaching them just by sending them out of my hair! 🙂

  3. Dor says:

    I am one-hundred percent for free play, especially the joys of the backyard. But I would add just as strongly that being present, sometimes for 5 minutes at a time, and sometimes for longer stretches is just as important as the free stimulation of the imagination. It’s when kids are playing that you are able to teach them how to deal with situations, and for kids that won’t engage in creative play, it just takes your involvement for a half hour here and there to get them started. This is especially true when they’re younger (5 and under), but even 10 year olds love having adult interest and stimulation, and yes, guidance. I often find the kids having a friend over is work, because you have to teach them how to interact, but down the road…all these teaching moments are going to pay off 🙂

  4. Lora says:

    I think in our society parents don’t pop in for ten minutes, they hover over their younger kids and don’t let them discover on their own. Have you ever been to a play date where all the moms sit in a circle and hover over their 2 or 3 year olds? Dreadful! Of course you don’t let 4 year olds out in the woods on their own without any type of supervision/monitoring. I do think older kids (my crowd 5-10), can create so well without adult input. They created Roxaboxin on their own, dragged all the stuff into the woods, figured out who does what etc. When they needed help, they asked for it, and every day we checked out their progress, praised them, and occasionally mediated disputes.

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