She told me that her students don't know how to play.
What do you mean they don't know how to play? They are four year olds...isn't that their job?
These children don't know how to play she insisted. They don't create games in their heads. They don't invent stories. If they do act out a story, it is simply a recreation of a cartoon they saw. They have no imagination.
To say that my mind was instantly filled with sympathetic thoughts for these poor neglected babes would be well,... a bold face lie. To be perfectly honest, at this point, I was doing a little mental check.
Do my kids know how to play? Do they create games on their own? The oldest three have traipsed through the trimmed branches in the backyard pretending to be Peter, Susan and Lucy traveling through Narnia (poor Edmund gets the raw end of the deal doesn't he?). Does that count? They haven't all read the books but they have watched the BBC productions. Is that the same thing? Oh great, I've ruined them already! Well that didn't take long. What do I do now? Help!
This Mental Breakdown Moment was brought to you by the makers of Anxiety and Worry and now... back to our regularly scheduled sanity.
My kids play! Oh, boy do they play. The fact that they play all over the place is often times the greatest source of frustration for the Donna Reed who lives in my head. Yeah, she's in there. OK, so she spends a lot of time locked in the dungeon but she's still there with her pearls on vacuuming the place in high heels.
One of the Easter surprises awaiting my kids are the little doodads you see here:
"What are they?" you might ask. No? Well, I tell you anyway. They are hand puppet accessories. Crazy hair wigs, silly hats, crowns for the nobility, Easter hats, a cowboy hat and two little mustaches that could be sinister or dignified depending on the circumstance.
You see...my kids have created a whole imaginary world called Hand World (all right, not the most creative title) where their hands talk and
At first, I thought it was cute. Then...it got a little annoying. We gave them some lovely "real" puppets for Christmas that we thought would
I have to admit that I had a lot of fun coming up with the ideas for the accessories and then trying to figure out how to make them. I got a kick out of being creative and spent a lot of time tossing designs around in my head. I really enjoyed scouring the stores looking for miniature things and trying to envision how to attach them to a tiny hand. When I finally sat down to transform idea into reality, I felt a bit like the shoemaker's wife with needle and thread, creating something, performing a little act of love, for the tiny people who have given me so much.
That is the power of play.