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Welcome to Day 14 of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series! Today we’re discussing ‘want nothing time’. Alongside meaningful play experiences; a fundamentally important notion is that of free play.
As I’ve spoken about previously regarding homeschooling, you do not need to be The Entertainer. It’s not our job as parents to entertain our children. We can provide opportunities to explore and learn and play but we don’t have to entertain them and fill their schedule with busy activities and classes.
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. – Fred Rogers
Make a conscious effort to encourage time each day play that is: unstructured, independent, unscheduled, child-led free play.
This kind of play is just as important as any level of structured play. Free play allows for Creativity expanded using problem solving skills, social skills, language skills and physical skills, processing, and discovery (including self-discovery).
“Children learn who they are and what they really enjoy if they are allowed to sit with themselves. Inundated with activity and subjected to lesson upon lesson, how can they hope to recognize their authentic voice amid the din of all this ‘doing?'” – Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent.
There’s such a culture of busy-ness and pride in filling our families days with impressive events and classes and activities and experiences.. but some of the most significant and meaningful moments are those unscheduled. Slow living is so helpful for children and necessary for everyone to fill their cups. It’s important that our time is spent in a sustainable way.
Feel free to share your photos (no matter what day!) on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Facebook page.
Here is the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series!
How wonderful that your daughter loves stories so much. What a wonderful imagination she must be cultivating.
A few activities that come to mind are:
1. Drama – acting out some of the stories she reads – with toys/teddies, puppet shows? Maybe she could retell the story in her own words and then she/you both could act it out or the toys could act it out. Or you could set up the book on a nearby stand and act each page by page (we’ve actually just done this with “Going on a Bear Hunt”. Good active fun.
2. Written – She could rewrite the story and make a book herself.
3. Visual Representation – she could then illustrate her story with drawings, paintings, collage etc or with photos of herself dressed up illustrating her story.
3. Listening – she could tape herself retelling or reading the story and listen to it. Or you could tape yourself so she’s listening to the stories, but hearing Mummy’s loving & fun voice.
4. Then, of course, she can start writing & illustrating her own story.
My 2.5-year-old & I have just done this. She was talking a lot about rabbits. So, each time she mentioned the rabbit I wrote down what she said `he’ was doing or how `he’ felt (we talk a lot about feelings…& everyone is a boy). Over a few days we wrote a 10-page book together. And now we have the words , I’m going to take some photos of her dressed as a rabbit doing what each page says.
Have fun. Would be good to hear what things you do. :-)
How fun! I especially like the idea behind the picture book! My daughter is 3, so any of the activities are a little old for her now, but she does like when I draw pics of things, so maybe we could illustrate together as well!! Thanks
My daughters biggest interest is stories. She will listen to books, oral stories, books on “tape” for hours… Any activity ideas or ways to integrate I to her play?