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Don’t Forget to Play!

Submitted by Emily Snedecor on March 23, 2010 – 3:15 pmComments

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By Emily Snedecor at Reasonably So

Any given day teaching preschool looks a lot like this:

Greet kids when they arrive in the classroom.
Hang out with kids while they play.
Get snack ready.
Hang out with kids while they eat snack.
Clean up snack.
Get kids ready for outdoor time; zipper, snap, and button various coats.
Go outside to hang out with kids while they play.
Get lunch ready.
Hang out with kids while they eat lunch.
Clean up lunch.
Read a story with kids.
Get kids ready for rest.
Try to keep the kids quiet during rest.
Wake kids up from rest and hang out while they play or paint or build with blocks.
Send kids off with a smile and a “see you tomorrow!” or “have a nice weekend!”

D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

If you like (or can tolerate) children, it sounds pretty easy, right? OK, now throw in your own daily worries and baggage, the occasional meltdown, clean up of bodily fluids, a kid who doesn’t listen at all, dealing with parents, and the constant reminders to keep voices down, use walking feet in the classroom, and to get a tissue instead of sticking your fingers up your nose (FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!). Not so easy.

However, even days that feel so heavy and tiresome have their silver lining. If the kids are starting to go bonkers, they just need to get their bodies moving. Let’s go outside or dance around for a few minutes! If they are in transition and they need to refocus, we read a story. All of this teaches them how to control their body, their mood, their day. The same way learning should be fun for a child, living and working should be fun for a grown up.

We all learned how to to take care of ourselves through play. It’s not exclusive to kids these days: your teachers saw your needs and helped you get your wiggles out. Now many of us have abandoned those lessons and are just dragging our feet through our lives. Knock it off! If you’re feeling restless at work, get up from your desk and take a walk. It may not seem like play to you, but it is. It’s giving yourself a break from the monotony. If you’re feeling burnt out,  take a 10 minute break to read a chapter of a book or listen to a few songs you love.

I challenge you to go and find your favorite book from childhood, to go to the park and take a nice long swing on the swingset, and to babysit for a young family member whenever possible. Let go. Explore. Climb when you feel like climbing, paint when you see something beautiful, and play whenever you get the chance.

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  • livogel

    i feel the dance party while vaccuuming is my adult "Getting the wiggles out..." never want to do it, hate every part of it in theory--and then it's just. so. fun.

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