Simple play

"Go and play". These are often the words that the children hear from me. After our activities are done (table top exercises, baking, painting...whatever), all that 's left to do is get down to work and go play.

Over the years (since I have been unschooling my own children & then taking others into care) I have watched children play and play and play. There is no definition of play that can truly describe what they are doing, or meant to be doing.  It just is.

 One thing that I have learned is that MY idea of play is way different than their idea of play. I also know that we as adults seem to simplify just what play means to a child.

Lately, I watch and when given a chance, sneak in a few snap shots of the kids in play. I guess it's something I have always done, but now I look at it (their play) from every angle.

Sometimes I ask them what they're up to.   I can  tell you that one can never be prepared for their answers. Sometimes it is far beyond what one could ever imagine. While often, it is what it is :).

There are often elaborate stories about dragons and fire-fighters in tall buildings, to stories about the planets and asteroids that are going to hit the earth just about now.

 Of course with the smaller children there are fewer words (less description), but they piece together their play in very interesting ways (if you stay around to watch). And, more interestingly, they pick up so many things from their older friends, that sometimes they jump right in and play along (as if they'd always been a part of the story). I love it!
a drawer at the table) has become an oven & that's an apple pie

If you watch my little ones, you will often find that they pack/clean everything up only to start again...pretty awesome (imo)

There is a circus (at least there was), but then the animals ran away (some are caught in cages). Can you see them?

Totally unrelated to the circus theme above...someone has left a remnant of play  under the table (when all the other toys were packed away).
Every child likes to play house
...dressing up baby
...another remnant of play captured
She's talking to her dad
The singing police knight
Guess who came to wonder the kitchen is deserted :)
They are at the supermarket learning about foods  (he was communicating with her in French)
they mimic what they see (except I don't serve tea in flower pots :)
It seems she was rearranging her work space(?)
So if you ask me, I will assert that play is work, and it's pretty cool work. The awesome thing about what the children do is that in reality there is no out-growing "play". It cannot be done!  Play, at least at Small Wonders is so very simple, that the toys, loose parts, materials only become more imaginative - more complex and brilliant as the children mature.


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“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
~ Forest Witcraft

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