What are some of your most memorable moments as a child?
Is it the time your family took a bike ride around the local metro park or is it the time you baked a blood red heart cake with Dad to celebrate your Mom’s birhtday? Do you have memories of pillow fights and building forts? Setting up lemonade stands on a hot summer day with your BFF or sewing new dresses and dolls with your Grandmother on a Saturday afternoon?
Why is it that some memories and lessons stick in our mind and others are lost forever?
Hippocrates famously said that “Men ought to know that from the brain and the brain alone arise our pleasures, joys, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pain and griefs.” Our brain is such a complex organ acting as the main hard drive for all of our thinking, feeling and functioning.
Mariah Bruehl, author of, Playful Learning: developing your child’s sense of joy and wonder, observes that children are natural scientists, artists, mathematicians, authors, and scholars. From the time they are born they seek out information about the world around them in an effort to construct meaning and further their development. While children have an inherent drive to make sense of their reality, parents have a unique opportunity to harness their children’s curiosity and channel it into a love of learning.
So, how do we help our children become lovers of learning? Through Play!
Bruehl defines playful learning as “the magic that takes place when we meld a child’s sense of joy and wonder with thoughtfully planned learning experiences.” Stopping to think about what this says makes what we intuitively know to be so true. Something all of us have known since the first time our hearts burst out with laughter!
I guess this only leaves one question, “How will you play today?”