I am so impressed by the way that many of you seem to take pleasure, right alongside your children, in having lots of fun – both inside and outside of the house. You allow dirt, mud, and even paint play; a bit of hide and seek while shopping; and of course – traditional delights, such as swinging. I’m sure there’s a lot of bath play to end the day!
The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland, which I’ve mentioned before, has a great deal of information on play. She covers about twenty play-related topics – all of which seem important, depending upon the age of your child.
I especially appreciate the reassurance for parents who “find it difficult to play” with your children. Sunderland says to “stop giving yourself a hard time – it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.” She then goes on to provide some specific ideas for getting started.
You can find ways to provide great language experiences for your children, as you enjoy playtime together. My mother must have recited this poem for me hundreds of times – otherwise how would I still know it by heart?
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside-
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown –
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Robert Louis Stevenson