Playing is an occupation to almost any child. And sometimes for any average tyke, it is far more important than eating or sleeping. My boys, for instance, would play for long hours and just get something to nibble if feeling hungry then go back to again- playing. If before I looked at playing as a way to waste time, having my own kids taught me that playing has valued lessons to impart as well.
My three boys would often play construction games. They have lots of building blocks. Even my old UNO Stacko blocks aren’t spared. They would make buildings, tanks, gasoline stations, and anything they could think of. They would make their own storyboard, pretend to be somebody, and act in character. And if I force them to sleep or eat, they would demand that I do not touch their construction on the floor. And it would almost occupy the whole living room.
My boys would also often look forward to Fridays and Saturdays. By then, they can play online games and stay until the wee hours playing. And even before closing their eyes once in the bed, they would play Clash of Clans or Sheep Bump on their tablet.
They just love to play! And it is such a dear occupation for them.
If one would only listen intently, kids act out their wishes and frustrations through play: “I am now the strongest robot here on earth and I will bomb your city. Hahahaha .. Now I am on top of the moon and I can see you from here….”
THROUGH THEIR PRETEND GAMES, WE GET TO UNDERSTAND OUR KIDS
They may have realized that with age limitation and lack of resources, they cannot fulfill a certain task or wanting. But with pretend games and imagination, they can be whatever they want to be. They can conquer fears. They can go beyond the usual. They can be themselves or be even more powerful!
PLAYING HELPS CHILDREN GROW STRONGER
My Second son once had an operation. He fell from a monkey bar years ago because of playing. Though he had broken bones, this does not limit him to play. He, together with his two brothers, would run, catch the ball or roll down on the floor. Through playing, they get to improve their strength, balance, and endurance. They also think of ways not to fall or stumble again. They become wiser. And after each tiring game, my kids would eat more and sleep soundly. They recharge and I know they will be stronger than yesterday.
Have you ever wonder how kids learn new words? How they decipher meanings and differentiate here from there…full from empty or big from small?
THEY TEND TO DISCOVER SO MANY NEW FACTS WHEN PLAYING
My Big Bunso learned about shapes through a shape sorter toy. He learned about colors because his brothers have a number of colorful building blocks. He also learned how to count even before he enters school because of again, playing with his brothers.
PLAY PRACTICES KIDS TO BEING GROWN-UPS
My boys love to play pretend games. They pretend to be soldiers about to capture guerrillas and so they plan their tactics. They set problems and goals. Through play, they either follow orders or show confidence to delegate and be a leader. They are able to know the right from the wrong. Play teaches them to speak honestly, act with integrity, and decide for the common good. Play then prepares them how grown-ups should speak, act and decide.
Playing has valued lessons
I love to see my boys play. Playing is such a dear occupation and teaches them to learn new words, discovers their interests and self, grows physically and mentally fit, and prepares them for the life ahead.
So next time you see your children play, let them enjoy and learn. It is only by letting them be themselves that they get to discover their potential and build their character.