Sunday, June 17, 2012

(My) Child's Play: Board to Ramp to Bridge

                I have loved watching the moments when I really see Theo play.  He is an expert at playing by himself.  He’ll chatter along, ad keep himself occupied for long periods of time.  Lately, I have been watching how his play with a wooden board has developed. 

                Recently, Theo was playing on the patio with some cars and fire trucks.  Brian brought out a board and encouraged Theodore use it as a ramp.  This simple act provided hours of play for Theo.  Over the next few sessions of play, I watched him advance in his understanding of the activity.  At first, he started putting everything down it-balls, large fire trucks, anything that would slide really.  Gradually, he realized that the small cars and trains actually would roll down the ramp the best.  He then started experimenting with the steepness of the ramp.  He put it against the door frame, and then the stairs, and then a patio chair.  After a few more sessions of sending cars down the ramp, he was playing inside and started using the board as a bridge for the cars between the two footrests in our living room.  Eventually, it became a bridge for himself, as he practices his balance (and surf skills on the rocking foot rest).  

                I think a lot of people worry that they need to teach their child everything, but I think if we just let them play, they’ll figure it out.

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