Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Importance of Adults Playing

Over the years that I’ve been married I’ve had an ongoing conversation with my husband about playing.
                                     Grown ups need to play.

We forget to play because of busy work and home and family responsibilities. 
When we forget to play we can become stressed and, really, just boring.

Play for adults can be many different things from sports, hobbies, games, and more.
Last year my husband finally understood what I was talking about.  He started a hobby that he loved as a child, model railway building.  It’s amazing what he has created.  The winter passed with him happy and more relaxed than I’ve ever seen him.
                 birthday 015
The joy that he has found playing with his trains has overflowed into his life.  Look at the smile on his face when he heard the whistle on the real steam train.

In regards to StrongStart, it’s so important that we play for many  reasons.  Although they can be lost when we are overwhelmed with many families arriving at one time and all the admin work that that involves.  But here are a few reasons to help bring us back to what StrongStart, in my opinion, is meant to be.

One - play to model for the parents and grandparents that attend.
Two - play to understand the play space.  How does it flow?  Is there enough space for the play to happen?  Are the materials arranged in a way to be inviting?
Three - play to find moments of joy in your day.
Four - play to make connections with the children.

Last week, I had a family visit that I hadn’t seen for almost a year.  The little boy wasn’t even crawling then.  The day they visited he was quite shy and I couldn’t make a connection with him just by talking.

As his mom gently showed him around the room and he found an area of interest, I joined in.  The picture above shows us playing in the boat.

Just before the picture was taken I was showing the child the oars and how to use them but it wasn’t until I sat in the boat and started singing Row, Row , Row your Boat that a connection between us was made.

He looked up at me and smiled which I interpreted as “Ah I know that song and you’re a kindred spirit”.  Then we played.

A few days later the mom posted the above picture on Facebook and my first thought was “I love my job!”   Thanks for playing.