Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Welcome to Your World

"A child should be brought up to have relations of force with earth and water, should run and ride, swim and skate, lift and carry; should know texture, and work in material; should know by name, and where, and how, they live at any rate, the things of the earth about him, its birds and beasts and creeping things, its herbs and trees; should be in touch with the literature, art and thought of the past." A Parent's Review "Education is a Life" C.M.

Harrison, who is just past one year, has not taken a liking to many of his toys. So many brightly colored, noise-making gadgets designed especially for him, yet he ignores them to search for the crash of the broom falling from the pantry or the fun of unstacking the tupperware in the cabinet. He is recently showing interest in knocking down his blocks and poking the stick of the ring stacker into a hole and joyously finding that it fits; so not all is lost on the basket of toys. But children would have something "real" from our world rather than specially prepared toys. They realize "real" things have a purpose. Adults use them. And how much more fun to make a toy using their own imagination instead of having it provided already prepared. Let them work with real materials to make a sword or costume or clubhouse. Let them relate to our world ~ to figure it out as they grow by being in it and of it, touching, tasting, exploring, learning.

They'll often come up with many ideas of how to do this if Mom will allow the mess. Just in the last week we've swam, played with sand, twirled in the rain, cared for sunflowers, soybeans, caterpillar, & frog, cut, drawn, colored, & taped, made costumes, wrestled, cared for siblings hurt by wrestling, made up games & learned new ones, embroidered, photographed, videoed, & blogged, cleaned, cooked, listened to stories, searched for sounds (where's that helicopter, bird, car?)..... I'm sure I could go on as could you. And just about all of it (maybe not the cleaning :-) comes from the children themselves. Give them room to relate to their world and see what a varied yet solid education they will gain even in their earliest years.

8 comments:

Natalie said...

Oh so true! Love the reminder. What a blessing it is that we can witness all of this each day.

Natalie said...

Oh, and with regards to "allowing the mess"...
Yesterday, my son and a few neighbors made a huge fort from old sheets and a bunch of junk in the garage. A mess it was indeed but it entertained them for almost 3 hours! All the while learning teamwork and I dare say a little physics.

Jennifer Clouse Photography said...

Yeah Wyatt is the same far more interested int eh practical every day things with purpose. Makes me wish our kids could play together :) It would be cute.

Blessed Mommy said...

Agreed. My children and their friends love making tents out of sheets, borrowing kitchen utensils and "making" a cafe, silversmith shop, etc. Revolutionary war along with knights and pirate wars played out often outside. Paper, paper, paper everywhere! The fun they have with scissors and crayons and paper. Playroom and back porch do get cleaned up twice a day- after lunch and before bed, but otherwise I leave it to them to enjoy. Many blessings.

Sarah said...

Right-o we have had the same fun experience. a box of used containers all shapes and sizes from the kitchen collect all kinds of thing around the house they sort and transport, caps from water bottle...once we had over 100we made scoops from the bottle itself, strung them on string, glued them on cardboard boxes, sorted the colors. Old envelopes for play letters, empty spools for wooden people, rocks to paint, to stack, to cart around, sticks for fishing poles, and houses, dirt for digging, leaves for playing cooking, there is a myriad of real things to ignite imagination. The best thing is that it is mostly free and there doing nothing waiting for someone to put it back into use.
Thank you for this post I love it!

phillipsgirl said...

I love reading what your kids enjoy doing with their time! I'm just now starting to understand "education is the science of relations". (I think). It's developing in yourself and helping your children develop a relationship with their world: nature, people and events in history, art..... Like developing a relationship with a person. You get to know them, you like being around them, you seek them out, you have wonderful talks and share thoughts, you appreciate them, and it's a life-long pursuit of relating because you actually dont want to lose that relationship just because your years of schooling are over. Education is figuring out how to help your child form those kind of relationships with every school subject. Maybe not an easy task, but that was Masons goal, I think.

Shirley Ann said...

I remember my daughters (now 13) first Christmas. We bought her a number of 'great' toys and all she was interested in was the wrapping paper and boxes! Even from such a young age it seems that they have the capacity to imagine for themselves ;o)
Thanks for the great post.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

It took me until child number four to figure this out and he now is the most creative child in the family. He does not need to be "entertained" by much more than books, music, and the great outdoors (a lot of time with his basketball).

Love your post. :)