Is playtime only important to young children? At what age does playing stop being an acceptable way to learn? Playtime doesn’t need to be relegated to the youngest of kids or be limited to a twelve minute recess after lunch. Play counts, no matter your age. Check out these quotes about play as a way to remind you and your tribe that play is a big deal!
We’re homeschoolers and have been for the last few years. The importance of learning through playtime is kind of the backbone of our educational philosophy. No, we don’t just “play” all day but at the same time I am grateful for the hours in the day my kids do have to play and be children. Homeschoolers, teachers, public schoolers, mamas; everyone needs a little play in their lives
If your family is anything like our family of six life is full of a lot of “stuff.”
Most of it is good stuff that we have chosen ourselves. With four kids we end up running every directions at the same time some nights.
One of my favorite ever books is called Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. I have read this book multiple times, given away more than one copy as a gift, and keep my copy in my glove compartment to grab when I’m stuck somewhere. I like it that much.
It’s a good reminder that less is more. Illustrations of what happens when kids lives are overfilled are something I can see in my own kiddos.
Homeschool here we come…
This book came into my life about the time we took the leap to leave the public school system. Yep, we grabbed our four kids away from our pretty decent school system to teach them at home together.
Academic rigor was one reason for our choice. Leaving behind peer pressure and some of the social garbage didn’t hurt the package. But time was our biggest consideration. Our kids didn’t have enough time in their day; time to play, time to pretend, time to be bored, time to eat together, or even time to finish a thought.
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Little kids are not excellent at hurrying…
Newsflash, right? If there was ever a surefire way to lose your marbles as a mama it is to have to require multiple children to hurry to and from multiple events per day. All while feeding them healthy, home cooked meals and engaging in quality one on time with four of them, simultaneously.
Today we do have a few more hours in our day to work with. We still have to hurry occasionally, just to different things. But we have slowed down. Slowing down our days is process that has literally taken a couple of years to get used to.
Try it. It’s good stuff.
How to schedule quality playtime….
Stop. It. Do not schedule activities for “play” no matter how awesome you are at integrating STEAM activities or orchestrating literacy connection. Stop. It.
To me play time is free and unstructured. It’s what kids do when they get bored. It takes a while to get to that point if your kids are used to being fully scheduled and then plopping down for bed .
It will not be painless. Sorry. Before kids entertain themselves and start pretending and playing and making awesomeness it gets ugly. They will whine about how bored they are. They are missing life. Play dates and a zoo membership and Instagram are all medically necessary. They need a sport practice to happen within the half hour. They don’t. They are fine.
It’s okay for kids to be bored. That’s when the magic happens. Hang tough mamas. This may require emergency wine and or chocolate. (This is acceptable; it’s for the sake of the children.)
If you want your kids to really embrace this learning through playing thing you’re going to have get out of their way a bit. (Unless your one of those mamas that’s awesome at pretend playing with their kids. I am not. I’ve come to terms with this. I’m not a player.)
However, my kids always have siblings at the ready and I’m cool with hosting other peoples kids as long as they can mingle with my pack without much special treatment.
Dirt is a part of this equation. Playing means making stuff, using things for purposes for which they are not intended, deconstructing things, and building again. There may be a trail of destruction behind your kids and their comrades.
While learning to clean up after themselves seems like an important part of this “playing as learning” speech it is not one which my kids have mastered in any way. Two of the four are total slobs. We’re working on it.
Even grown ups need to play…
Play is anything done purely for fun. Play doesn’t necessarily accomplish a learning objective or a particular outcome. It simply becomes about because we wonder “what if….”
I started blogging because I needed something creative to play with, something just for me. Play feeds our soul and makes the work of life more bearable.
I hope these quotes about play inspire a few extra minutes of playtime today. Whether you’re in a classroom or a at home give in to the wonder; play a little. You never know what you’ll discover.
If you want access to these free printable quotes about play & DOZENS MORE just sign up in the subscription box below. After confirming your subscription you will receive a password which will allow you access to my Resource Library. All of my printables are there in PDF form for your printing pleasure!