School was out this past Friday. My son is so happy. The summer stretches out before him and he sees a driver’s license, the beach, lots of basketball, cook-outs and girls who think he’s cute. I see that it’s time for him to get a job. Play time, at least unlimited play time, is over.
Actually, that sounds gloomier than I intend. I believe in play. I love play. I try to play as much as I can, as a matter of fact. I don’t think we ever outgrow it. I strongly believe that the ability to be creative and the ability to be playful are closely related. That’s one reason that I’ve started doing “Playshops” at schools, conferences and education centers around the country. For so many little children the pressure to succeed in academics is pushing away the opportunity for creative play. Kids learn through play. For that matter, adults learn through play too! For children, just being allowed to interact in their environment and satisfy their natural curiousity is a learning opportunity. For adults, just letting go of expectations and allowing ourselves to experience places, materials and others is also a learning experience.
Okay, I’m getting a little lectur-y here. Didn’t mean too. It’s just that I’ve met so many grown ups who’ve forgotten how to paint with their fingers, or wear a bright pattern or try something new. Little people do that naturally.
So, okay Simeon, I do want you to play this summer. Meet new girls, get sand in your shoes, laugh ’till you cry and drive SAFELY AND WITH A SEAT BELT. But get a job, too, okay?
About the pics: The adults playing are at a Head Start Play-Shop in May. The other pic is Sim and his friend and “Play Sis” Jessica before the prom.