I love the way God made children. Their ability to create, imagine, and play remains so untainted.
My 3 oldest kids have been playing outside most of the day, lost in their imaginations, the story line of some great adventure.
Unstructured, child led, unplanned, unscheduled, unplugged play.
Silas' pose might lead you to think that play time is miserable. They were having a great time but this child is good at looking (and acting) like he's miserable at any given moment.
I guess I would be unhappy to if I was imprisoned by Nero the evil Roman Emperor.
That is indeed what they were playing for hours this morning. They were "freedom fighters" hiding from the maniacal ruler, and trying to survive under his murderous regime.
They survived in the first century A.D by taking out their little fishing boat to catch fish. Roman (appropriately named) informed me that he also did Blacksmithing on the side.
Of course he also had an assorted arsenal of wooden swords to protect his family.
They dug a well. A really deep, big hole in the backyard sandbox. They haven't found water yet...but I may find small neighbor children trapped in their pit at some point.
We live in a culture where kids are sterilized, institutionalized, and every minute of their days are scheduled with activity. It's so important to reclaim and protect the lost art of mud pie making, epic battle fighting, and tree climbing.
Playing isn't time wasted. Playing is learning, experiencing, processing, building, creating, and experimenting.
Education is very important but in an effort to compete, protect, and provide "every opportunity", we forget that play is a vital part of their education. We, as a society, have replaced imaginative childhood play with lessons, sports, activities, classrooms, and running around at a manic pace. None of those things are bad for kids, in fact some may be beneficial, but when the balance is lost our burnt out, over burdened kids suffer.
Childhood is so short.
Too short to waste time putting on shoes.
Let them make messes.
Let them get dirty.
Let them climb trees, ride bikes, and fly as high as they can on swings.
(It kind of looks like Roman was beheaded in this photo. I suppose that wasn't unlikely considering they were living under the rule of Nero.)
Break out the dreaded things like sand, dirt, garden hoses, glue, finger paint and playdoh and let them be kids.
The things they come up with when you leave them alone with their imaginations may impress you.
I for one, would never think to build a jet out of Popsicle sticks and duct tape.
We are soaking up the last days of curriculum free days. Our new "school" year will be starting after the long weekend. I've been sorting supplies, organizing books, and mentally preparing to reign in these little freedom fighters so I can teach them how to multiply fractions.