Thursday, February 8, 2018

They're just looking for some FUN!

Children love to experience new things.  When they experience new things, they love to talk about them.  I see this everyday at preschool.  My little ones are bursting with excitement when we do something new, or introduce a new toy or activity to our classroom.  And they love to tell me all about the new or different things they have experienced at home. 

I remember teaching a student who never had anything to talk about at sharing time except his experience playing Minecraft.  Over and over again, when the other little ones were recounting a visit to the zoo, or a movie they had seen, or a playdate they had enjoyed; this little guy would offer up his gaming experiences.  The other children had a hard time relating to him, because they were not as familiar with his game.  And he had a difficult time relating to them, because on some level I know he felt as if he had missed out.  He had not been to the zoo, read books from the library, played at the park.  I felt so sorry for this boy.  He had two loving and successful parents, but they had fallen into a pattern of allowing their son to play on an i-pad for hours on end.  It was sad to think about all the time this little boy had spent doing this one activity while his young brain was being developed--and all the experiences he could have been having if the game was not part of his daily routine.

Each time you introduce your child to something new, you are growing their brain!  You are introducing new concepts to them.  You are helping them experience the world around them.  Children love this and NEED this.  We live in a time where children can be put to the side on devices, and be completely cut off from real world experiences.  To me, this is a form of child abuse.  Children need real world experiences and it is our responsibility as parents and teachers to make sure that they are exposed to new and different activities and environments.

So please, put down your phone.  Close up your tablet.  Power off your computer and go play with your child.  Give your child the gift of new experiences--and have some fun, together!