Last Sunday our family sat outside, enjoying the late afternoon sun. After dinner, the children moved off the patio and began to play.
Since they had just watched the movie “Into the Woods,” their play turned that direction. The oldest girl wanted to be the peasant. She muddied her face, messed up her hair, and began to sing her dialog. The middle girl took the role of the prince and came to carry the peasant away to happiness. The littlest one was the dog. She kept asking questions in the middle of the play, and the older kids kept telling her that dogs don’t talk. (She had to figure out another way to get her question answered.) The play went on and the girls created and changed the story singing all the way.
They took time out to adorn themselves for the parts. The dirty face and messed up hair inspired the prince to put on some lipstick (go figure). The dog went into the woods and got scratched by something.
The play turned into quite a production. Everyone in the family had a great time. The adults enjoyed watching as the kids sang their little hearts out.
What do children learn from this kind of creative play?
- How to become goal directed.
- How to communicate with each other.
- How to compromise.
- How to abide by the rules they make up.
- How to solve problems
- How to think outside the box.
These are great attributes we, as adults, strive to attain. Characteristics stated above can be found in presidents of corporations, heads of state, and scientific innovators.
Academic assignments, organized activities, schooling talents, and electronics all have a place in children’s lives, but be sure you, as parents, give kids enough time to play, to create, and to enjoy the freedom meant for the young of any species as they learn how to make their way in the world.
Create your own games and learning activities. Choose what is best for your family. There are more ideas in Family Talk: How to Organize Family Meetings to Solve Problems and Strengthen Relationships.
Christy Monson, M.A., (retired) established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. www.christymonson.com