thoughts on learning and playing

as our little man approached turning 3 years old, i have found myself looking at his toys, games and activities from a different angle. i questioned the rhythm of our days, i overthought the setup of his playroom. i browsed countless and countless blogs and websites on the subjects of waldorf and montessori elements within the home. 

until one afternoon, i decided to stop.

we have always selected his toys very concsiously. for at least the last 12 months, we have had a (fairly regular) rhythm of outdoor play, playdates, outings, reading time, a day at the grandparents', worship and art/craft projects in our weeks. he loves spending time in almost every room of the apartment, most of all where i am, of course. it occured to me that without much research or professional help and without any experience or background in early childhood education, i had created a home that had all that he needed.

of course, there is always room for improvement and the need for fresh ideas, and for that, the browsing is good. but i won't feel bad because we don't have a kitchen learning tower, a wooden lego set (he loves his plastic duplos, and so do i!) a doll treehouse, presentation trays or playsilks in 20 different colours (5 are just fine up to now ;))

one thing i want to make sure of, is that he has a lot of free, unstructured time to just play, or work on whatever he is interested in.

"Play is not the opposite of work - it's the way children work." *

i try to look closely what fields especially fascinate him, what books he prefers and what activities he chooses by himself again and again. and i'm planning on adding more tools to his little workspace, so he can get acquainted with them and in time use them for crafting and project making.

i'm trying my best to be the engaged parent that i want to be. that i love what i do. i love to read, i love to craft, i love to write. i love to sing and play music, i love to cook. i love to learn new things. he might not end up loving everything that i love. but as long as i stay passionate about what i do, the foundation is laid for an environment that fosters his need for play and learning in a way that is just right. 

* the quote is from this very inspiring book. i love the real life examples of projects children work on alone or in a group! i can highly recommend it, whatever form of schooling you chose/choose for your children!


KatEzat said...

Oh, how precious to be a parent xx

Maggie said...

thank you for the reminder to just let go of some of these worries and trust what we've done and where we're going.

simona said...

i couldn't agree more with you. and i think it also depends a lot on how the parents were raised themselves. if the environment was right in their own childhood, then intuitively they can create spaces for healthy development for their children.

├ľa said...

I feel: Just as much as children need certain guidelines in their development, they need freedom and impulsiveness within a warm, loving family.

Kim said...

Sounds to me you have it figured out just perfectly. I find sometimes we can get too caught up in what we think we need when in fact we have everything we need.

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