I have been doing lots of research on the Waldorf style of education, first because of my own shop and toy making adventures, but now because of my son. One of the things I love about Waldorf is its emphasis on imaginative play– as opposed to here’s a screen, go “interact” with a computer/TV/game console. One of my favorite blogs is The Magic Onions, which has great Waldorf resources. I recently read this article they reposted from the NY Times.(It is a good read, with reminders I can certainly use, like how you have to relax and embrace a little mess in your house if it means kids are engaged in play.)
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a developmental psychologist at Temple University in Philadelphia, concluded, “Play is just a natural thing that animals do and humans do, but somehow we’ve driven it out of kids.”
I certainly don’t want that for my son, nor do I want him addicted to screens (which I admit, he already watches too much TV). I’m one of those people, though, who needs something set to do, a curriculum (I was, after all, a teacher before my little guy was born). So I have taken out a bunch of toddler/preschool “creative play” and Waldorf style books out of the library and am checking out various blogs, all in the hopes of coming up with ideas for more creative play that will really nurture him and who he is growing into as a little person. I’ll periodically post some really good resources & ideas I have found here, plus (no doubt) some posts on my struggle to balance room for him to grow, explore, etc with my need to get things done (work, housework, etc) with what feels like way too little time. If you have ideas or suggestions, please share them with me!
Here’s my little guy engaged in some of his favorite play: