Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I've spend the whole day thinking about play.

A lot of my 'free' time is used to think up new games that I can play with Aaron and also how to organizing/reorganizing our play area. He has plenty of toys but most of them are hand-me-downs from ME. I haven't found it worthwhile to buy him too many new ones because he seems to pay similar attention to new, old, home made, home found or store bought toys. I might as well save that money for his school fees in the future.

So, we play a lot of make believe games or invent new ways to play with the existing toys. I have occasionally felt a little stingy for not splashing out on the latest gizmos for kids but after reading this NPR story, it looks like we're on the right track after all.

The article talks about the obvious difference in play now and in the past. Instead of being free to explore with other children, kids today are either in more structured activities or at home with high tech attention grabbers. This lack of self exploratory time supposedly causes children today to be less developed in the cognitive skill called executive function.

One of the elements of executive function is self regulation. This is how children learn to control themselves emotionally and physically. Maybe this is the reason why we often hear in the news of young children instigating violent crimes. Who knows?

Anyway, the topic of play and how I can make the most of this time with Aaron has been on my mind the whole day. Who knew there would be so much to think about play?


Kellan said...

You sound like such a good mom, Amanda! I think is it so important to invest time in imaginary play time as well as other types of play time. It's good that you take this serious and look for ways to keep Aaron involved and motivated.

Have a good day - see you soon. Kellan

John said...

Thanks for a really interesting article, Amanda. I think that watching kids play is a learning experience for adults. Their play often includes pretending that they are adults. The things that they do when they imitate us can be quite telling!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It's good that you think of play time with Aaron.

MamaGeek said...

You are a great Mom Amanda! I know what you mean. I'm always trying to come up with creative ideas and playtimes (and playdates) to expose my son to new ideas and to build that imagination.

Nap Warden said...

I know where you are coming from. It's hard to set up playgroups and play functions. You are being a good Mom!

elizabeth embracing life said...

I am the mother of five kids and refused to "buy" into the new technology we call play. I get frustrated that my children will not sit down to a movie. Why should they, they play. All day. Friends make comments all the time of how creative my children are. One thing that keeps the day moving is creating little stations around the house. Even in one room you can set up five stations. All involving new areas of play. I will the make a schedule and put time frames on each area. The kids love it and it does involve me to get them started. You sound like a terrific mother. And it's through play, using our imaginations that we grow extremely gifted children.