The "Right" Way To Play

We’ve been hard at work on our plans for the back yard, and I promise to share progress on the dry creek bed soon.  We’ve carted so many rocks up our steep slope that in the process we managed to break our wheelbarrow!  Fortunately friends loaned us theirs to finish transporting the rocks.  And the kids have had a wonderful time playing with them…

As adults we have often been conditioned to see things one way; the “right” way.  Kids are much more open minded!  They see objects not for what they are but for what they can be.  These might look like upside down wheelbarrows to you, but they’re actually cars, trucks, spaceships, boats… all aboard!

Do your kids opt to play with objects creatively, rather than the “right” way?

21 thoughts on “The "Right" Way To Play

  1. Yes! I cringe when I see people take things from children and say “That’s not how you play with that.” Just shows children have a better imagination than they do!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Write =-.

  2. All the time at preschool – they are forever carting bits and pieces around and using them in creative and imaginative ways. When it comes to play, child-initiated play and using materials in creative and imaginative ways rules in my book :) Looking forward to dry creek bed updates – have you seen the latest post from “irresistible ideas for play based learning” – step by step on how they created theirs with the kids as well as costing. I’m inspired!
    .-= jenny @ let the children play´s last blog ..container vegetable gardening with young children =-.

  3. Oh, I can already see that my daughter is much more creative than me with play. Her latest is using a gardening bag as a hat. I admit, my first instinct was to get her to remove it (after all, it had been home to dirty spades etc), but then I reminded myself of how she was using her imagination. I’ll remember that phrase… “there is no right way…”

  4. I wish my first instinct was to embrace my toddler’s creativity … I admit I’m not always perfect at letting him do things his own way. But we’re learning together. :)

  5. Wheelbarrows and boxes are great but growing up our favorite outside imagination tools were two saw horses. You could add sheets to them, tree branches or card board boxes. You name it we did it. We had no air conditioning so from sun-up to sun-down we were outside creating and playing with those two saw horses.
    .-=´s last blog ..Sand Castles or $1,000,000 =-.

  6. Some days I feel like my kids don’t even know how a toy was originally meant to be played with! I love it, don’t you?!

  7. I wonder … do children in child care centres get to play with boxes and upside down wheelbarrows? I see a lot of expensive purpose-built toys (eg cubbies) … and can’t help wondering if they miss out on this imaginative play??
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Bloggers Without Makeup! =-.

  8. As a boy, my bicycle spent as much time upside down as right side up. I liked to turn the peddles by hand and pretend I was churning ice cream. I made my mom “buy” a lot of it.

    Last night, I was talking to a group that included several families new to our community so I got to use my best line about the “right” way to play: “If your kid doesn’t come home covered in paint, mud, water, snot, and maybe even blood, he’s not doing it right. And that goes for you too!”
    .-= Teacher Tom´s last blog ..A True Labor Of Love =-.

  9. Love it. I too have memories of turing my tricycle upside down and spinning the peddles and pretending it was a movie projector!

  10. Some days I feel like my kids don’t even know how a toy was originally meant to be played with! I love it, don’t you?!

  11. I stand at one of the crumbling windows in our renovator’s delight and despair as I look at the mangle and tangle of passionfruit vine, wisteria and spikey, spikey bouganvillea that invades our garden. Weekends and weekends of work ahead (big sigh). As I turn with another huge sigh, I suddenly spy my two youngest children engrossed in the most wonderful game of camping out. They have assembled a circle of rocks (so the first doesn’t escape) and piled the middle high with kindwing and logs. So very proud of their campfire. Yes you are so right about the sheer wonderfulness of imaginative play. We must all be sure to never stifle their ability to create and dream.

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