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Fun & Games! Carnival Posts (Part 1)

It is Day 3 of the Carnival of Play and already there are tons of great posts that have been contributed. I'll be featuring them a few at a time.

Let's Pretend (by Amber @ Strocel)

Amber wrote a great post about the importance of imaginative play for her daughter's development and their communication. Amber says:
As an untrained observer, it seems like imaginative play is very important to my 4-year-old. In fact, I would go so far as to say it seems like one of the most important things she could be doing right now. As much as it thrills my heart to see her interested in letters and numbers, my uneducated belief is that spending her time playing is of equal or greater value than any ‘academic’ pursuit, at least right now.

This is something I've thought about and dealt with too, because both of my kids love numbers and letters and languages and science and all of those academic pursuits are games for them too. I'm taking full advantage of the fact that they see them as games, but I do know that there is tons of value in free imaginative play too. My kids are really into telling stories these days and we love being able to build stories with our kids, with both parents and kids contributing details to the story and intertwining our imaginations.

On a random related note, I find that it is really hard to distinguish between imagination and lying sometimes in small kids and I think the reason is that small children don't necessarily distinguish the two. They may want things to be different than they are and imagine them to be different and then talk about them that way. Just something to remember if you think your child is lying, she may actually just be rewriting the story!

Investing in the Art of Play (by Mom, M.Ed. @ Foursquare Schoolhouse)

This second post is a great fit with Amber's post about imaginative play. Mom, M.Ed. writes about all the lonely toys that sit around unused in playrooms. She proposes using storytelling and investing in playing with your child, using those toys as props to open the door to creativity and imaginative play. She says:
I believe children benefit from a scaffolding approach to play. I do not mean parents should literally direct the play. That would result in structured play, wouldn't it? Not much of a scaffold. What I refer to is something different. Instead, it is to offer the child a constant, yet subtle diet of "play inducing experiences". Play inducing experiences in our family come from a combination of literature, conversation, sharing of current events and our natural aversion to mass media.

One of the types of toys she mentions in her post that can be part of this type of play is Playmobil toys. These were a favourite for my husband growing up and have become a bit part of our kids lives too. They can be a great prop in building stories and it is always fun to see the different Playmobil worlds collide. Maybe you have a princess driving the police car or a firefighter playing soccer. Kids can mix it up and create diversity and change in their imaginative world.

Play and Being Present (by Maria @A Piece of My Mind)

In her post, Maria talks about using play to connect with her child. This is a great companion piece to the one I wrote yesterday about Attachment through Play. Maria says when she thought about how she wanted to play with her child, she knew she wanted to be an active participant. She wrote:
Me? More times than not, I am getting dirty with my son and loving every minute of it! Sure, sometimes I am to the side at home. The Boy can play independently, but a big part of being present in his life is playing on his level and mine! We kick the soccer ball. We get wet and dirty. We do not need expensive games or loud electronics. We need one another to climb on, laugh with, and chase. We make every day tasks fun games. In doing so, we have a lot of fun together.  Alone, I see laundry as something that needs to get done, but with The Boy helping me, it is a fun game.

Maria concludes that they continue to grow closer through play. I think that's awesome and I couldn't agree more!

Play: A Game the Whole Family Can Enjoy (by Sam @ babyREADY)

In her post, Sam brings all of the wisdom of being a mom of older kids and having seen them through a variety of stages of play. She talks about the importance of play still in her boys' lives and in their family life. She touches on everything from sports to play guns, books to Twister. Play can and should take on so many different forms and Sam touches on the importance of many of them in her family's life. She concludes with this wise advice:
Don’t make them resent the time they didn’t get to enjoy being children. Step back from the stack of bills, dishes that need to be done (and, for the record there is a game in dishwashing, clothes laundering and bathroom cleaning if you look for it) and beds to be made and just BE with your children. You will be amazed at what they will teach you and the fun you will have. Isn’t that what you really want, for your children to be happy? It’s SO much easier when you model it for them with your own happiness!!

In a stroke of social media generosity, Sam was kind enough to not only link back to my Carnival page, but also to link to all the other posts in the Carnival so far. What a great way to share the love of play!

The Carnival of Play Continues...

Did you like these posts? If so, give them a Stumble, tweet about them, share them on your blog!

There is lots more to come! If I haven't featured your post yet, thank you for posting it and it will be featured during the carnival. I am doing a few theme-based posts, so if your post fits into a theme that I have planned, I may have pegged it for a specific post.

If you haven't participated yet, it isn't too late! Go back to the introductory post to learn about all the ways you can get involved in the Carnival of Play and have a chance to win a copy of the book Play by Stuart Brown, M.D.
« Carnival of Play Announcements: Creative Play Meme and Arts & Crafts Showcase | Main | Beyond the Baby B's: Attachment Through Play »

Reader Comments (4)

Hey everyone. I'm studying right now for my Dip. Childrens Services and doing a lot of research. Your comments are invaluable( right now I'm doing an essay on the importance of play)so I hope you don't mind if I occasionaly pipe up with a question or comment. I can give you my lecturers address if that will make you feel more at ease.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I love these posts! Thanks for sharing. So many great perspectives on play combined really tell the story of childhood.

Thanks for highlighting my post! I have another one in mind. Hopefully I can get it down this week. :)

April 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

[...] Part of the Fun & Games Carnival. [...]

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