“Nothing lights up a child’s brain like play.” Stuart Brown – National Institute for Play
I truly believe this – and more true than ever when children are the ones leading the play – and what they are playing with are natural, open-ended items that stir the imagination.
This past weekend walking along the river at Riverside Park, I was fascinated by watching four young girls, about eight- or nine-years-old ,off on the grass playing with a hefty ten-foot branch that must have fallen to the ground during the most recent storm.
These girls had a plan that they were working ( i.e. playing), very hard to figure out – a way to balance all four of them on this branch.
But the branch was crooked and this was not easily accomplished.
However, they didn’t give up – trying different ways and angles and taking turns holding down the branch so others could balance – figuring it out.
This playful determination went on for at least the 30 minutes or so that we were there. And it warmed my heart – to see this kind of fun – this kind of hands-on natural play “lighting up these young girls’ brains”.
And observing something like this is why I believe so passionately in The Parenting Place Children’s Festival coming up quickly on Saturday, August 24 from 9-12:00 at Myrick Park – rain or shine.
The festival offers children this very opportunity to “light up their brains” as they engage in pure child-led play.
There’s no prizes, no competition, no waiting in lines for a give-away. It’s a child’s world – of choices, of creativity, of fun, of play.
It’s about “lighting up many children’s brains” all at once.
And it’s free – just the way play should be.
Hope to see you there – 9:00 AM sharp for the “Dumping of the Dirt”!