Archive for the ‘play’ Category

What is play? Play is the pirates we fight in our front yard with broomsticks and cardboard daggers. Play is the hiding spot in the closet where we’re certain that we’ll never be found. Play is the pink lipstick we put on our brothers.

But if play is only thought of as an activity for children then how can I argue that play is critical to the life experience of all humans? Because not only is play the method through which children learn the world, but adults use play in the same way. We shy away from calling it play, choosing instead to let psychobabble and complicated terms stand in for a very short and simple four letter word.

~ Dylan Kendall in “The Ball:  Man’s Most Important Invention” on The Huffington Post

And more playful food for thought:

Playborhood, the blog, is now Playborhood, the book! Read about it (and where you can buy it) here!

“Let’s Play: Books and Creative Free Play” by Carrie St. John on Hilltown Families

“Ban homework for before third grade; support children’s play” by Bonnie Harris, The Christian Science Monitor

“Bucket List for Kids: 50 things to do before they’re 12” by Catherine McLean, The Globe & Mail (via Free Range Kids)

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Playful math?

Ever since I read the post “Mothers Talk Less to Young Daughters About Math” on the NY Times Motherlode blog, math has been on my mind.  Now since I only have a young daughter, I don’t have any comparison data for our family. However I am aware of my junior high-induced math phobia that still creeps into my life all these many years later.  Storytelling, word play, and general goofing around with language comes easily to me. Playing with numbers? Not so much. As LP nears kindergarten, I’m very aware that I need to clean up how I talk about math and my own abilities.

And now the Motherlode blog has pointed to a wonderful resource in the post “Goodnight, Moon. Goodnight, Math Problem.”  Yes, just like a nightly bedtime story, the Bedtime Math site posts a nightly math problem to share with your little people (that scales to their age/ability).

I’ve used the ideas from Bedtime Math every day (not at bedtime because our bedtime ritual is already a bit too long).  Two great things that I’ve discovered in the past 4 days…one is that these make for great discussions while we are on the road to and from preschool or waiting in the dr’s office or passing time hanging out in the potty. LP loves them! Number two is that the example math questions have helped me think about incorporating math questions and interactions into our daily interactive storytelling.  Now as we tell a story about dogs making cookies, I’ll ask LP how many cookies do the dogs eat if each of the three dogs in the story gets three cookies. The addition of this kind of question seems to delight her and fit right into the other questions I ask to create the story.

So say “YES!” to playful math!  And I’d love to know…how do your little people respond?

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“I like my noggin.

It holds things like the old sheep jumping the fence.”

~ the Little Person (who has been fascinated with the old sheep character in Charlotte’s Web and has created all kinds of back and side stories for her)

And here are some links as delicious food for playful thoughts:

“How to…Invent a Recipe with Kids” by Rachelle on TinkerLab

“10 Simple Ways to Raise Creative Kids” by Rachelle (of TinkerLab) on Kiwi Crate

“Tell a Better Story – Storytelling made Simple” by  Melissa Taylor on Imagination Soup

“How to Pretend” by  Kim Rowe  on Little Stories

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“Let go of what you think your child should be interested in and what you think they should be doing or learning.”

~ Kate Fairlie in “Let Go and Let Them Learn” on Childhood101

And other wonderful playful food for thought from around the web:

“Toddlers to tweens: relearning how to play”  by Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor online

“Kids need adventure. Parents need to to teach them how” by Stuart on The Family Adventure Project

“Why Children’s Theater Matters” by Danielle Wood on education.com

“This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids” on Colossal Art & Design

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The past month has been one of improvised baking and concocting.  I’ll be writing a couple of posts about engaging and supporting a little person’s interest, so consider this one a teaser.

Below is the recipe for a “Show” ~ the first concoction that LP created about a month ago.  She made it while I was making dinner (homemade pizza) so most of the ingredients are what I was using (except for the goldfish!).

LP’s recipe (as dictated by the girl):

Start with a lot of goldfish.

Add just two whole mushrooms and a lot oil and a lot of wheat germ becasue the oil and the wheat germ taste good and they’ll make it taste good.

Add lots of garlic, cutted garlic.

The cheese makes the Show taste a little like popcorn.

Add pizza dough and pineapple.

Flour’s the last ingredient. It makes the show taste powdery.

Some shows get spinach in them.

Bake for very long. The long should be 20 minutes.

We eat the show when it comes out of the oven. It’s a cheer you up show!

(The recipe was dictated to me over dinner. As you can see, there are a few ingredients – pasta, celery, olives) that didn’t make it into the formal recipe.  And yes….she did eat some of it!)

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I’ve been taking (an unexpected) blogging break AND also been bookmarking lots of wonderful links out there. So I thought it was time to share a few. The first one is a wonderful 5 minute video…check it out!

“How to make an interactive and experiential story-telling hour” on Kirjastokaista

Play, Who Will be the Next Steve Jobs?” by Darell Hammond on Huffington Post

“German doctors prescribe kids a trip to the theater” by Isabelle de Pommereau on The Christian Science Monitor Global News Blog

“Blast Off! Pretend Play Astronaut” by Melissa Taylor on Imagination Soup

“Quiet-time art game for children” by Jean Van’t Hul on The Artful Parent

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“A fresh story is like fresh homemade bread from the oven. There is just nothing that feeds the mind and heart as well.”

~ Megan Rosker in “Mama, Tell Me a Story” on Let the Children Play

And here’s more playful food for thought:

“5 Reasons Why Kids Should Play in School” by Kerala Taylor on MomsRising.org
“Catalyzing Creativity:  7 Playful Activity Books for Grown-Ups”  by Maria Popova on Brain Pickings

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