Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just playing

Daniel is big into playing right now. I guess it's because he's learning the difference between work (at school) and play. So it's "eat your breakfast." "And then I can play?" "Take you bath." "And then I can play?"
And "play" can mean a dozen different things to him - all of which I think fall into the category of "learning." For example:
Legos and blocks are the tools of a future builder.
Teddy bears, Cabbage Patch kids and Winnie the Pooh are lessons in taking care of a family.
Paint, crayons and Play Doh are all tools of creativity. Plus, he's developing his fine motor skills with those little fingers.
Books and his Leap pad are the first steps to reading. When he can "tell" a story because I've read that book to him so many times he's memorized it, I've done my job in opening that door to him.
Bugs, leaves, "flowers" and berries he collects from the yard - and even the rocks I find in his pockets - are all the signs of a child who notices the things around him.
Even movies are lessons disguised as down time - I hear "I'm Lightning McQueen!" as he races full-tilt around the yard or down the Wellston Trail. The "Cars" speed demon encourages him to run and exercise.
So when I ask Daniel what he wants to do and he says "just play," I'm happy to say "OK."

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