I’ve recently discovered that young children enjoy playing. I would have to say, however, that I feel more successful as a parent when I refer to their playful activities as “impulsive hands-on observational study.”
"Hey, Emi, after I change your poopy diaper and feed you mashed peas, would you like to crawl over to the front room and impulsively study your universe via hands-on observation? Of course you would, pumpkin. Daddy loves you."
Here is an imperative list of fun observational studies (a.k.a. games) that no child should be deprived of:
Pulling Books Down From The Bookshelf
A vital precursor to reading is the ability to open a book. Before a child can open a book, they must learn to pull books down from the shelf. My daughter, Emi, intuitively practices this activity roughly ten times a day. She takes great delight in this activity, knowing that one day it will lead to the joys of reading. As a side-note, this activity will more than likely drive you insane (or maybe it's just Emi's Mommy who gets frustrated with her child's interest in books.)
Take It From My Hand
This “game” will help your child learn to assert herself. Here’s how it’s played:
Get at least 3 identical objects, small enough for your child to grab with one hand. Let’s go ahead and call these objects, “sponge-like plastic green triangle blocks.” Start by placing one “sponge-like plastic green triangle block” in each of your child's hands. Then, quickly, before they become interested in the bookshelf again, whip out another “sponge-like plastic green triangle block” from its hiding spot behind your back. As she enviously reaches for the block in your hand, swipe the block she’s dropped and taunt her by waving it in front of her face. Undoubtedly, if she’s playing the game right, she’ll continue to drop the block she’s holding in efforts to take yours. People think kids can play this game forever. That is incorrect. Kids will routinely stop playing "take it from my hand" shortly after four hours.
If your child loses interest in either of these “games”, just set her down in front of the TV and turn on C-SPAN.
Tyler H is a guest blogger and father to Emi. The Three Bay B Chicks have asked him to shed light on a Dad’s point of view under the stern supervision of his loving wife. If you have a question for Ask A Dad, feel free to submit it in the comments section. The Three Bay B Chicks are not responsible for Tyler's "advice."