The Power of Play
Children are a great reminder that exercising the power of play can lead to overall happiness and fulfillment. As adults, it may be hard to imagine as we trudge about with our heads down focusing on smart phones and our many commitments to fulfill. Now that we’re headed into the warmer months we will have plenty of opportunities to learn from and reflect on the brilliance of the children in our midst and experience for ourselves, The Power of Play.
What would summer be without a trip to the beach? Traveling to the beach is fun for adults and children. There are opportunities to play in the sand, build castles and look for seashells. You can throw a football or partake in a volleyball game; or, take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sound of the waves breaking against the shore. Of course, it is always fun to jump around in the shallow surf or for the more adventurous, head out to deeper waters.
Did you ever have a lemonade stand with your childhood friends? Then you'll remember how much fun you had. So why not share this experience with your children and get started. From building the stand to picking the lemons and selling, this universal pastime for kids provides children with great opportunities to learn some of life’s virtues like sharing and teamwork and building a sense of community. Children are also introduced to the world of entrepreneurship and skills like planning, selling and even negotiating. Hmmm, do you know any successful entrepreneurs who started out this way? build your own lemonade stand
Next time someone tells you to, "go fly a kite!” do it. Flying a kite is an excellent way to interact with your children in sheer play while teaching them important lessons like persistence, sharing and teamwork. It is also an excellent opportunity for your children to watch you and how you respond to moments of frustration like not getting the kite to fly right away. They will also experience the feeling of great accomplishment and "being ten feet tall" once that kite goes airborne. Be sure and have your video recorder ready too, because you’ll not want to miss a moment of your adventure together.
Looking to beat the summer heat? Taking the kids to the local bowling alley can make for a fun excursion. While children have fun rolling the ball down the lane, they also learn about sportsmanship and competition. During games, children will seek ways to bond with each other and learn the art of collaboration and encouragement. After all, it always feels better when everyone wins!
Play is often described as a time when we feel most alive. It’s important to our physical and mental health. It transforms our emotions into positive experiences. It helps us connect to others and the world around us. It can make work more productive and pleasurable and sharpens our ability to learn. There is a sense of peacefulness that envelopes us because we are living in the moment and enjoying it. Children engage in this power of play all the time. By being in the present we tend to release and not focus on fears or worry with anticipation about the future.
So, this weekend plan to get out and play. Who said children should have all the fun?
Wendy Navarro is the owner of Saige Nicole's baby and toddler boutique,mom of three and wife