Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Years ago when I was in teacher’s college I studied the role of play in child development and over the years I’ve continued to be a fascinated observer of children at play. As I’ve observed children around me here I’m continually amazed at the ingenuity of children. When children have adequate nutrition, a safe environment and time, then play results . A case in point is the son of our former sponsor child. At his last medical appointment in Kampala, Ryan was very lethargic and withdrawn until we had lunch. With a full tummy he was all go and we were astounded at the change.
Our day with Sam and his siblings just before Christmas provided more interesting examples of children’s play. I watched as Sarah carefully laid out little pebbles in intricate patterns arranging and rearranging them to make pictures. An old bicycle tube became a hoola-hoop. A vine became a skipping rope. Construction scraps were quickly gathered up and used to practise hammering and sawing skills. My favourite example was the see-saw Dan and Sarah made out of a piece of wood and a tree stump. Dan even tried to use a rock and some discarded nails to attach the board to the stump. Running, jumping, skipping, building, pretending, imagining, laughing . . . the joys of play!