June 6, 1961- It seems to be raining pitchforks and hammer handles today. It’s one those rare Colorado days stuck inside the workshop staring at projects that need tending. Instead of working, I find myself mesmerized watching my grandchildren, Zadie and Fuller playing “Pirate” with just broom handles, paper hats, and a cardboard box. The story they tell is wonderfully engaging and imaginative. Zadie is the “Writer” leading the play as the main storyteller. Without notice, Fuller heads off to build a tower with his building blocks, he is now Fuller the “Inventor”. He skillfully designs and builds with a huge smile on his face. Across the shop, Zadie has now picked up crayons and is transformed into the “Artist”. With her masterpiece complete, it’s now time to burn energy with the jump rope, Zadie the Sportster has arrived at the workshop.
I shoot a glance around the room and see Fuller’s building block towers surrounding Zadie’s lemonade party, wood puzzles, kickballs, crayons, and play sets strewn about the room creating a daily obstacle course. These kids are busier than ants at a picnic, but there is a pattern to this chaos. It seems children at play bounce from one play personality to another at fantastic speed. From creative play one minute to role-play the next. It’s just a matter of time before learning, active, and storytelling play are covered. I distinctly see 5 personalities at play and Zadie and Fuller switch to these personalities, as they desire. As an inventor, I now create toys that cater to each of these 5 styles of play.
This is “A WISH for well-balanced play”.
A is for ARTIST – creative open-ended play. This is where imagination is born. W is for Writer – role-play and storytelling that creates a sense of the world they live in. I is for Inventor – play designed to teach, explore, and build. Exercise for the mind. S is for Sportster – play designed to get kids moving. Exercise for the body. H is for Hero – character based storytelling
Some parents focus too much on learning toys (Inventor), some focus on primarily sports based play (sportster). By selecting toys, games, and projects that focus on ALL 5 of these play personalities – a child will receive the tools that develop the whole child. It’s a well balanced diet of fun!
Come back tomorrow for part two – Introducing your child the “Artist”