Little Lessons: Kids just wanna have fun

I recently learnt that kids can make games / entertainment out of anything. It’s like their innate superpower.

Here they are, transforming a stone staircase handrail at the Botanic Garden into a slide.

It’s sometimes handy to have big sturdy cardboard boxes lying around the house…

Because you never know who might wanna hide inside one day…Just to give you a little shock. 😉

Sometimes I feel in today’s rush to take on many things and multi-task, our kids lose out in terms of play-time. And we mums and dads don’t get down on the floor to play with them as much as we should / want to.

I hope they don’t inherit my rushed-ness and I hope I learn from them the ability to slow down, and explore more, think more, create more.

The emphasis these days is about primary-school readiness, and learning to read and write. But listen to what Jane Healy has to say:

“Misguided efforts to train preschoolers in skills more appropriate for kindergarten and first grade diverts valuable time and attention from their real learning needs. To become good readers children first need help in installing the cognitive and language furnishings that will make the brain a comfortable place for real literacy to dwell! During the early years these are best learned through active, hands-on experiences (e.g. playing, building, exploring, talking), imaginative social play, and listening with enjoyment to good children’s literature…”

– Endangered minds: Why children don’t think – and what we can do about it

During free play, children learn to make up things, conjure up stories, and dream up new worlds of funny-looking planets, galaxies, and googly-eyed monsters.

I had an interesting conversation recently with a speech therapist who specialises in paediatrics. Here’s what she said:

Kids today are not playing the way that they used to. Instead of climbing trees, they master the art of swiping iPads at an early age. Yet, parents expect their children to write properly when they are 4 years old. The problem is…we haven’t been giving them sufficient opportunities to strengthen their hands and fingers by engaging in different physical activities. So we shouldn’t be disappointed when they can’t write well at 4 or 5 either.

Children are designed to play and run around in the great outdoors. I think we adults too, need to unwind, get our hands dirty, and learn to just have fun again.

Every night I watch as my kids rough and tumble with their favourite toy in the world – daddy. And I secretly can’t wait to pop so I can join in the fray…

Now it’s your turn. What little lesson would you like to share this week? 🙂


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