Monday, February 22, 2010

Kids Finding Fun in Random Ways : )

Belle and I are at Andy's for the night. Belle and his daughter, Dawn, played outside for a long time this afternoon, sledding and then some game of their own invention on the swing set.

It's so nice being here for a variety of reasons, not the least is which that Dawn is great at making up her own games. It's really good for Belle to be around someone her own age with the kind of imagination that Dawn has. Belle spends much of her time with adults (or with Addie, who treats Belle like a little princess), so having the opportunity to interact long-term with a child like Dawn is a real treat for her.

While dinner was cooking, Andy pulled the string on a party popper in the living room ... which definitely got the attention of Belle and Dawn. The girls took turns pulling party poppers, enjoying the noise (naturally) but having perhaps an even better time with the leftover debris.

I've learned a lot over the past few months about what makes children happy. You'd think, being a teacher, I'd know, but I guess that a) it's different when it's your own kids you're dealing with and b) my area of expertise is high school students. I never thought I'd see the day when my little Belle was content playing with scraps of ribboned paper forced out of a tiny tube.

The girls were even more amused, by the way, when Andy started chasing them with the vacuum cleaner as he was cleaning the mess off the carpet.

Do you think it's valuable for kids to learn to play driven by their imagination? Why is this such a novel concept? What are some memories from your childhood that didn't involve items bought from a store?

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