Friday, April 03, 2015

the busy work of play

During these winter months we have spent almost weekday here at our house, working through our books and lessons. The girls have had loads of time to play and Laura makes the stories which vary widely on a given day. We have a family joke that Laura can spin a story out of anything in seconds. It makes life interesting.
She also is often making something which requires warehouse amounts of paper, tape, and staples. Frequently items from the recycling bins are retrieved to be called into service for some project or plan. What has amazed me is how well she executes her ideas. I sometimes am asked for input but many times she already has her own plans so I stay quiet and observe. I try to save many of them because they showcase her ability to solve problems. And I think she will like to see them when she is older, even if she doesn't remember making it.

Seth has his own ingenuity as well, although some of his ideas are more advanced, like trying to inflate his bike tire using air from a balloon. He was confident of his success and it wasn't until the supper time discussion with his dad that he was able to see why it didn't work.
I only showed skepticism once(or maybe twice) to help ease potential disappointment(I am a mama!) and then I just stayed quiet doing my own work while he grappled with the problem.

Much has been written about children at play, but until you see and observe multiple examples over many days, it really can be shrugged off as unimportant or just play. But wow, if you lurk quietly and provide time, workspaces, and materials, you can learn a lot about children, your own in particular.

Kate's play is intermittent. She can pretend play with the best of them. But she often just sits next to the person intent on play and annoys them. Or her best idea of play, tidying the house, the real one, often starting in the kitchen, my kitchen. So I just have to keep my eye out on what she is doing, like changing the bathroom towels or kitchen towels, all.the.time. Or clearing off anything on the kitchen counters that she can reach. She can be very helpful and she knows where things go, with the occasional glitch that keeps life interesting and fun.

And now that spring has mostly arrived, they get to practice a different kind of play outside. And I love to see them out there; while I enjoy the much desired quiet inside again.
Proof that I am, after all, a very much human mother.

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