Last week I posted a story about media, play, and kids development that was first aired on Morning Edition. At the end of that program, a follow up program was referenced, so here’s the link to Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control. The bottom line: free unstructured, imaginitive play is VERY healthy and important. In fact, it’s probably more important developmentally than all of the structure and outcomes that we use. Sure, we need to use the planning and testing for some of our assessments, but in a PERFECT world, those activities won’t take too much time away from the real “work” of childhood: PLAY.
Tag Archives: Play
There was an incredible piece on development and play on Midmorning yesterday. It’s some of the best material from my workshops all packaged up for the radio. If I had done a piece myself, I couldn’t have picked better content, so I’m sharing the link: Old Fashioned Play Building Serious Skills. Be sure to check it out. You can read the written version on their website or listen to the audio version with all the bells and whistles.
I’d never watched Minute to Win It before today, but when I did I was thrilled with some of the great family play ideas I saw. One game I saw today was for a player to dip his nose in a spot of Vaseline and then pick-up cotton balls with the the tip of their nose and move six of them to another bowl without using their hands. Another game was to strap an empty Kleenex box on (using a belt) and put six or eight ping pong balls in it. The player has to get all of them out without using their hands.
We all know that one of the greatest things a family can do together is play. If you’re short on ideas, take a minute to watch the show or look at the show’s website for a great idea. If you’ve got kids who are reluctant to participate, let them watch the show, pick the game, and prep it for the family.
Play helps to reduce family stress, improves relationships, and lightens the mood when life gets tough. One great way to make play a part of your daily family routine is to have a quick game at the dinner table in the evening. Here’s one you can try. Grab an oven mitt (if you don’t have one, us a paper bag or something you can put your hand into that you can’t see through). Find one of the kid’s little toys that’s small enough to fit inside, like an action figure or doll house furniture. Put it in the oven mitt. Tell everyone at the table they can feel what’s in the mitt, but not to say what it is. After everyone has had a chance, ask people what they thought it was starting with the youngest player, then show the item.
A twist: this can be a great for practicing self control, because sometimes kids forget to wait and blurt out what the item is as soon as they feel it. If they do, remind them of the directions and tell them how happy you are when they wait to talk because it means they’re using their self control.
For more great dinner game ideas, check out this link to Family Fun. I’m not getting anything for posting this link. It’s just a product that we’ve found useful. Sarah got it for me as a birthday present a couple years ago.