Do You Play?
My Top Five Ways To Play And Have Fun
Abraham Lincoln quoted “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” This statement says a lot about planning. The role planning plays in our lives. In our day to day lives also we plan things for even the smallest things. As adults we plan our exercise schedule, we plan our work day, we plan our groceries but we don’t plan for playing. Do you? Have you seen children, naturally running without a reason, stopping the moment they see other kids and join them in their play?
There is a lot of research evidence that shows that play in humans is adaptive and is fundamental in supporting a whole range of intellectual, emotional and social abilities. Please do pay attention that I said humans, not only children. Given this fact, it seems self-evident that children who, for whatever reason, play very little or not at all will be disadvantaged in their development. For obvious ethical reasons, however, direct studies of the consequences of preventing children from playing have not been conducted.
There seems to be very clear evidence that children’s cognitive development and emotional well-being are related to the quality of their play, and a number of studies have shown that individuals who are not well developed in these areas are not playful. Brown (1998), for example, found consistent child and adult play deficits in a study of criminally violent young men. In a recent study of one to two year old children in ‘maltreating’ families Valentino et al (2011) found that children in such families displayed less child-initiated play and less socially competent behavior than children of the same age in non-maltreating families.
So, here is the question of where do we start and how we make play a part of our day? Here is my quick list of 5 activities that I pick can squeeze in anytime with my kids –
- Game Night – As a family we have a game night every Friday, each member of our family takes turn in selecting the game that we want to play. Our current favorite as family is Rory Story Cubes.
- Biking – We love summers as we love to just go out and Bike. I personally love carrying the younger one in the basket in my cycle. I can hear her giggles as the wind hits her face.
Fisher Price EZ Turn Scooter
- Making Ice Cream – There are days when we just have homemade ice-cream for dinner. This is super fun, messy and a yummy play and eating activity.
Little Tikes Makin Real Ice Cream
- Reading – All of us love reading. It’s bliss when all of you are in one room and there is pin drop silence. With all 4 of us immersed in our books and our respective worlds but still sitting next to each other. It’s lovely time spent together
Leapfrog Sesame Street Monster Faces
- Playing an instrument – Creating music together with your family is literally loud fun. In our case sometimes it makes sense and most of the other times its just plain loud fun. What I completely love is how everybody tries to work together while creating music.
Simba My Music World I-Guitar
I will say of course children must play, as it’s their job to play. To quote George Bernard Shaw “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”.