I am constantly struggling between the idea of structured play and free play for my children. My guiding principle has always been if they can play purposefully they have the freedom to have free play.
What is purposeful play? There is a proverb (which I can’t remember at the moment) that teaches that idle hands lead to trouble. This is exactly what I find in my house – if a child has too much free time on their hands (no pun intended!!) and they have not be trained in their character to handle that wisely it is to their detriment.
But on the other hand I am all for giving a child enough time to ponder, to dream and explore.
There has to be a balance and the fruit will be the scales.
As the year comes to a close, the hot weather gets draining the structure of our days begins to loosen up, or possibly unravel!! I have decided to have a couple of activities up my sleeve to pull out when things get a little out of order.
Play-activities.com has a subscription list where they email you 5 activities a week (either daily or weekly emails). This is going to be the core of my activity list – just imagine – no thinking, no planning the ideas just arrive in my inbox!!
The email I have just received for this coming week includes:
* sticky 3d art – fine motor skills
* gross motor activity
*painting activity which will focus on following instructions
* making a bird feeder which will lead to some science/nature discussions
There was one activity that I didn’t feel would suit our situation. These activities are aimed at preschoolers and kindergarteners (though Daniel is 8yo and he will both enjoy and benefit from them.)
All I have to do is collect some everyday, around the house items in preparation and then set aside some time to spend with Daniel as he does these activities.