Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Play

We are all about playing here right now. Jude has two different playgroups that he attends. It is so fascinating to watch all the kiddos his age interacting. Jude has a hard time understanding that if someone is playing with something that doesn't mean they are pointing it out for him! But I guess that's pretty common for his age.

I can honestly say I benefit from the playgroups as much as he does. A couple of weeks ago, I was having a rotten day. I was in a terrible mood. We went to playspace and after 1.5 hours of watching kids romp around and giggle, I forgot all about my bad day.

I recently read an article, Taking Play Seriously, in the New York Times Magazine. The article explores all kinds of angles for why play is beneficial only to say that the experts don't know how play is evolutionarily advantageous. At the end of the article there is a quote from Stuart Brown that goes beyond the cognitive and physical benefits that play might provide children, to what I have experienced myself. '‘‘If you think of all the things we do that are playrelated and erase those, it’s pretty hard to keep going.’’ Without play, he said, ‘‘there’s a sense of dullness, lassitude and pessimism, which doesn’t work well in the world we live in.’’'

Less seriously, we did some playing out in the snow this weekend. John and I huffed and puffed to build this tiny snowman for Jude who could hardly walk more than 5 feet without falling. His snowsuit was so immobilizing that each time he fell, one of us had to go hoist him back up onto the soles of his snowboots. At one point, I said to John, "there is a reason kids build snowmen and not adults." It's hard work to be on your knees rolling balls of snow! Here are a couple of photos.

Jude hugging Mr. Snow Dude

Sophie ripping off Mr. Snow Dude's pinecone nose
'"Look at life without play, and it's not much of a life."'-Stuart Brown as quoted in the New York Times Magazine article Taking Play Seriously
Now, get off the computer and play!

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