I think that my kids are play experts. This is because Mrs 23 (my eldest) has a natural talent for play. Fortunately she also is a natural teacher and imparted this ability to her brothers and sisters. Her favourite year at school was kindergarten, when she was four. She didn't really play with other kids at kindy, she played next to them. She wasn't up to playing with others at that stage. When she was in year 2 she had a teacher who ran an award based program when the kids got to school.Some of the activities were academically based and some were play based. If you completed a certain number of the activities you got a certificate at the end of the week. This ensured that everyone completed some academically based activities, because every kid wanted the reward of a certificate. Every kid except my kid! The teacher encouraged the parents not to organise the kids to do these activities because she wanted them to learn to organise themselves and take responsibility for themselves. So I would watch her play 'home corner' five days a week. One day her teacher commented on the fact that she was in home corner again. I said she always was in home corner. In fact she had never had anything signed off because she spent all week playing home corner. The teacher was incredulous and had to check Mrs 23's book because she was sure she had received a certificate. When she discovered the truth she went to Mrs 23 and said, "Didn't you play home corner yesterday?" "Yes", answered Mrs 23. "So why are you doing it again today?" "Well", explained Mrs 23, "I haven't finished yet!" Now that's a dedicated player! She is still playing home corner with her bloke and her new son. Hey! It's one of my best games too!
It's quite weird seeing size 14 basketball boots next to a duplo house. Mr 14 still enjoys playing duplo (but then again so does Mrs 23! She can't wait for her baby to start playing so she can play with him.) despite being 6 foot 2 and wearing size 14 shoes! More about play tomorrow. In fact, I'm talking about teenage play tomorrow.