Play is a child’s work

Growing up is a lot of work.  Children are learning and developing and seeking to understand their environment each and every day. As adults, we have reached the point where some things feel so intuitive: left vs right, how to read stoplight, how to roll a ball out of play dough. And yet, in reality – all of those things were learned at some point in our lives. Some items are memorized, like left and right; others are developed through experience and practice, like how to roll the best play dough ball.

I have heard it said many times that “play is a child’s work”. This means that it is essentially a child’s job to be playing. This is where they experience their world, see what happens when they take certain actions and learn how to deal with the results. Here are some great forms of “play” that will help a child do their “work”.

Craft Time: I have said it many times that I believe in offering a wide variety of supplies for children to use as they choose for creations.  Paper Towel Tubes, cereal boxes, googly eyes, scissors, duct tape, masking tape etc can turn into cardboard robots, merry-go-rounds, anything the child can think of.

Dress Up: Old Halloween costumes, left over hats and scarves from Mom and Dad or picking up some crazy glasses or props at a toy store can allow the children to have some great creative playtime.

Gross Motor Skills: It feels like play, but anytime you and a child are kicking a ball, playing catch, playing hopscotch, walking on a line taped to the floor, their body is learning how to work as a unit.  There is also something great for our brains and bodies when you complete tasks that require arms to cross over the vertical midline of your body. Challenge your child to cross arms and touch their ear lobes or cross arms and touch their knees.

Fine Motor Skills: Get out those crayons and colored pencils and have coloring time. Instead of pre-defined coloring sheets, offer a blank sheet of paper and see what they want to create. Using small thin crayons will actually help children work on their pencil grip better than the fat, chubby ones, so be sure to give those a try.

Story Telling: Children that are pre-writers still have a lot to share.  Challenge your young children to “tell a story” with a picture – no words needed. After they draw the story have them tell you what happens.

So – give some of these a try and help your children do a little more of their “work” every day!

This entry was posted in Craft Ideas, Parenting Tips. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Recent reflections from our blog