Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Purpose of Play — by Guest Mom Marie

Most kids don't realize they're "learning" as they play. Most adults don't realize that kids are "learning" as they play. Playing for children is natural, helps them learn about the world, and supports their development.


Play comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it is with cars, blocks, dolls, or dress-ups, your child is learning. Most of the time, they are learning to be adults. We drive cars, we build buildings, we have babies, and we dress-up as we go to a job. Children are simply mimicking what goes on in grownup life.

Through the website
Bella Dia, I recently found Sir Ken Robinson's speech at a TED conference 2 years ago. Sir Robinson is a child advocate for creativity in the classroom and tries to help us understand the importance of keeping it alive. The video is 20 minutes long, but very entertaining and educational. He talks about the roll of the education system with creativity, but I think anyone can learn from this and encourage more creative in the home.

During one of my Elementary Education courses in college I learned this Ancient Chinese Proverb that really hits home: "Tell Me, I forget. Show Me, I remember. Involve Me, I understand." I have tried to live by this as it rings true for many things in life. I try to think about the "process" my child is involved with, not necessarily the final "product".

The new book, The Creative Family — How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections, has just come out by author Amanda Blake Soule. She's a great example of how to involve your child. She tries to involve her children in all areas of creativity, helping them learn and play at the same time.

Another great resource for Nurturing Creativity is Ginger Carlson's book, Child of Wonder — Nurturing Creativity and Naturally Curious Children. Visit The Artful Parent to find out more about Ginger in an in depth interview and a chance to win a free book.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find something creative to do with your children. Whether you're Mom, Dad, Grandparents, or friend, you can help encourage a child's learning through their play. Ask lots of inquiring questions. Talk about colors, counting, sorting, letters, rhyming. Find those learning moments with a child that will encourage their creativity even more. They are learning as they play.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great painting. It reminds us the things you've written about are timeless.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 2:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger bohemia said...

Thanks for a great post. I am a strong believer in encouraging creativity in children (especially considering this electronic world we live in.) I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the artist of the painting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 3:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marie said...

I too love this painting. It shows the innocence of childhood. Here is the link for the origin of the painting.

Children at Play

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 4:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger poopsy said...

I just reviewed that book today...not to mention that I have a TED video post somewhere in the archives too!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 4:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lauren said...

I love this post! Thank you.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 4:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger CocoBlu Studio said...

Thanks for this post! I just bought the book...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 9:11:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I played that Sir Ken Robinson clip for my freshman composition class, and it was just amazing. Justin shared it with me last year, and I loved it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 9:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger poodle said...

I watched that ken robinson speech at the last faculty meeting at the school where i teach. SO fantastic!!! creativity is SO important for kids, but for some reason most schools ignore that aspect of education. Too bad.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 9:15:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Cherie said...

Thankyou, thankyou for posting the Sir Ken Roberston TED talk. I was recently talking to an acquaintance, who happens to be a high school physics teacher, while her 2 year old daughter danced around the room. I commented that she seemed quite talented and perhaps she should enrol her in a dance class. Her snippy reply was "Oh no, we don't do decorative women in our family. If she must she can play the piano". I couldn't think of a single thing to say, I was shocked and a bit offended at the implication that my suggestion was daft. I think I'll email her the link to this TED Talk in belated reply! I found it inspiring and very insightful.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 12:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger heather said...

Thanks so much for posting about this!! I'm not sure that many people really understand what expressing creativity is (it is not "following directions" of an "art" project), how to integrated it in a family life and education and how much it can enhance whatever our children can decide to do. Thanks for bringing attention to this!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 3:43:00 AM EDT  
Blogger i'm kelly said...

love the book suggestions & the video links. i've seen a couple before, but i think i'm going to be buying them here quick. i love the reminder that crafts and creativity aren't just a way to fill our occupy time, but in fact helping us teach our children.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 8:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sarah's Fab Day said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this wonderful bit about play. It is so important for children to play to learn. I have enrolled my children in a play based preschool and it is a challenge to find one with that philosopy. There have been numerous articles lately encouraging this and I applaud you for choosing this topic.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 11:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! I love that Ken Robinson speech and The Creative Family (soulemama is one of the best mama blogs out there, hands down). Great that you are spreading the word about children and creativity/imagination.

Marie may be my favorite guest mom!

Friday, April 25, 2008 at 12:28:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am a fan of this painting i love this site it helps me with my school work and my child

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 9:02:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Apple Pie Sausage Roll said...

I love this painting its fabbity.I love the site too. My daughter Brooke the painting is funny. *giggle comeing her way* I too think Marie is ace. x x x =]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 9:04:00 AM EDT  

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