Friday Two Cents: Play


This week has been a nice quiet week thanks to March Break.  For those of you who do not know what that is, this is the time when the children and teachers get a week off to recharge for the final push for the end of the school year.

Unfortunately, I had to work a few days this week.  We provide care for some of the children whose parents cannot arrange time off.  Usually the children are not allowed electronic devices but because of the laid back atmosphere we provide, we allow them to bring in their iPods, DS’s or PSP’s.  Mind you they do not just sit there and play them all day, we provide other activities such as creative, fine & gross motor activities, etc.  As well as field trips.

It was on one of the field trips this week where we had some simple fun that made my week.  A trip to and new place in the Toronto area, Legoland.  The trip was fun but it is not the trip that made my week.  It was what the children did that I enjoyed.

Lego Fun

Lego Fun

Now I think many of you now what Lego is so I won’t describe it.  At Legoland, they had a lot of the toy around for the children to play, but the real fun happened after we got back to the school.  Once back, some of the children got into playing with the Lego we had.  It was great to see that they where using their hands creating something imaginative instead of pushing buttons, but not all.  Some children just wanted to play with their electronic games.

I wanted them to put them down and use their imagination but then I remembered something.  Leaders lead by example.   Therefore, I sat down with the children and started building a space ship out of Lego.  Once I started building the ship I then saw more children come around me and start building things too.  I guess my playing with them inspired them.

After the Lego, I moved over to a different set of blocks called Kapla.  They are wooden blocks that you can use to build anything.   Some of the children came over to play with me and we had fun building towers, chairs, planes and any thing we could imagine.

Intricate Kapla Tower

Intricate Kapla Tower

We all had fun building and imagining but there was a side effect.  I had a lot of fun playing too.  Many of my colleagues may disagree but it was so nice to sit down and simply play with the children instead of just watching over them.

I always want the children to play and have fun but I forget to do the same thing from time to time.  We all get busy with our lives that we forget the simplest of pleasures are the best.  These experiences made me think about those famous words by Captain Kirk, “The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.”

I imagine we could all benefit from the simplicity of play. 

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