acepuppets

Posts Tagged ‘playground


download

As you know my son is techno geek and does spend rather a lot of time on his computer either playing games, watching gamers videos or making his own videos.  He frequently comes to tell us what he is doing and shows us the worlds he has created in Minecraft, so he doesn’t sit there like a zombie all by himself not communicating with anyone.  When we are out he talks about different rocks and finds interesting stones and asks what they are. Often we have discussions about what would happen if you tried to mine all the way through the earth and how mountains and valleys are made.  We discuss time travel and the possibility of using portals to travel from one world to the another and what type of world you would like to travel to.  In fact the topics we discuss are all about life from creation to death and what it would feel like to be dead.  Of course I can’t answer all of his questions but can talk about different peoples’ beliefs. The most amazing part of all of this is that all of this curiosity stems from the Minecraft worlds he creates.

At the moment he is working on an imaginary world called, ‘The Netherland’, which I think is a miss hearing of Neverland as opposed to referring to the country we once called Holland.  Any way he has been working on this land for a long time and shares his ideas by leading all of his friends in an imaginary game at school.  All of his friends go to the Netherland at playtime  and look for magic portals to new worlds – Alistair of course is the inspiration for all of the games because he describes the landscape to his friends and paints an imaginary world on the playground.  When I pick him up from after school club he is always looking at a little hole in the wall with two of his friend because it is a portal to the Netherlands.

Alistair’s fascination with Minecraft has given him an interest in how landscape is formed, what it is made from and what is possible in the real world.  He is totally inspired to tell and act out stories and will be starting Story club soon so that he can hopefully tell stories about his worlds.  We rarely have to help him with his computer because he is very good at reading and can often find solutions by using search engines.  Alistair’s ability to transfer a computer game fantasy to imaginative play in either a playground or garden reassures me that he is not wasting his time on the computer.  He is not a recluse and enjoys getting down and dirty in puddles and flower beds, he is sociable and communicates really well with his friends and adults.  I have to admit we didn’t let him have a computer until he had reached a good level of reading because we wanted reading to be the most important skill he had before he did anything else.

Computer games are wonderful as long as children are able to talk about what they are doing and show an interest in what their children have learned and discovered.  A computer isn’t really a babysitter but does give you a bit of peace and quiet when you need it.

Advertisements

I have to admit I have been a particularly bad parent this summer holidays because I have worked for most of it and only engaged in, ‘perfect’, activities a minimal number of times with my son.  So to write a condescending post about entertaining children seems exceptionally hypocritical.  It is not that I am not interested in spending time with my son because when we are together we gel so well that we chat and entertain each other with simple things.  I am constantly encouraging him to think for himself and find ways that he can entertain himself as a complete contrast to the intensity of the school day.  Is it my imagination or do children look lost the first few days of the holidays because nobody is telling them what to do.

When my son was born I dedicated all my efforts into getting him ready to learn and fortified him with so many words and sounds that he could pick them up pretty quickly when he got to school.  Now that he is six and achieving exactly what I was aiming for, I feel that it is time for him to start applying his skills more so that they become practical rather than theoretical so they are of concrete use to him.  This type of parenting involves only giving him a helping hand after he has tried or nudge him in the right direction – which looks like lazy parenting.  I put in such a lot of ground work to learn everything about my son when was small I don’t really have to nag him very much and only have to raise my voice to remind him that six year olds have to listen sometimes.

Next year is SATs for my son and although he seems to find tests quite amicable and just gets on with it, I feel rather sad that the first seven years of my son’s life is going to be summarised by some form of levelling, (which no longer seems clear). My son still believes in magic and is a cuddly and considerate little boy who can tell if you need kind words to make you feel better.  When he goes to the playground he finds friends to play with and enjoys socialising with people.  At school he appreciates everything that the teachers have set up for him in the school playground and never likes to leave.

Although I missed my son for part days during the holidays I did spend loads of time with him and just got used to him bouncing around singing, dancing, talking and cuddling up to me.  I am really dreading dropping him off at the school playground at the beginning of term because I love him more and more every single day and want to keep him in his magic bubble.


90ce302cf1b130ada3a0f6c47179ece6

I know that the Summer Holidays is all about making sure that children are entertained and not whining about being bored every five minutes but to me it is all about getting my son back.  I am really pleased with his progress in school and he has learnt an awful lot about a lot of things but now it is time for him to relax, enjoy playing and not have to do anything structured at all.  We have many plans to do simple things that are actually scientifically quite exciting like making butter and putting eggs in vinegar.  I am going to do a puppet show for him and his friend and no doubt we will go on adventures on the Estuary.  We will go on day outs and just enjoy being together.

I am so happy that my son is growing up to be such a wonderful human being and the fact that he is completely on my wave length is even more fantastic.  He has a thirst for learning, has an amazing imagination and is compassionate – yes he can be noisy, messy, whiny and just plain irritating at times, aren’t we all, but it never ceases to amaze me how much I fall in love with him more every single day.  When we first met I loved him because he was my baby and it is instinctive to love and protect him, now I love the person that he is and and am so proud of him.

The Summer holidays brings back memories of spending time in different playgrounds learning how to climb, slide, swing and look at the world around us.  Our shared experiences, when he was very young, have bonded us for ever and all of the times that I enjoyed like looking for fairies or messages in bottles he also remembers, we share the memory and become a little bit closer.  There have been times when I have taught him a lot of things and times where he has shown me that determination and never giving up is still a way to get there in the end.

I have learnt that true happiness comes from watching your child embracing life and confidently facing new experiences.  My greatest delight this summer is that my little boy has got a friend very close by to play with and have many adventures with.

The stellar speed at which time is racing past is the most important reason why I am going to make the most of being able to kiss and cuddle my son while he is still pocket sized because one day I will turn around and he will be man sized with children of his own.


Illness has always been one of those things that I am terrible at judging, particularly with my own health.  For some bizarre peculiar reason I don’t consider myself to be ill until I can’t function properly and am unable to do the smallest things.  Unfortunately this has often resulted in me battling on incompetently and admitting defeat in a flood of tears. Everyone around me seems to know when they are ill and are really good at discussing symptoms and how it is effecting them.  My inability to detect illness makes it quite difficult for me to decide how ill my son actually is and therefore he has missed very little school because if he can walk and talk then he is well enough to go.

Last week he was really tetchy and everything I did or didn’t do for my son seemed to be an indication of how little I cared for him.  We went to the playground to play on the playground equipment and the mere prospect of leaving caused an unprecedented amount of fuss – well out of proportion to the request.  I had an inkling then that maybe he was going in for something and that hunch was correct as he spent most of the weekend sleeping and watching Miss Marple.  We decided to keep him off on the Monday to let him rest more until he felt better.  On Tuesday he woke up saying he didn’t feel well enough for school and I wrongly assumed it was because he had enjoyed being off too much so I sent him in anyway, dressed with green socks for sports day. He did pretty well and won one race, came second in three and lost another.

al

Near the end of the school day I had a phone call informing me that Alistair was feeling sick and needed to be taken home.  Obviously I had made the wrong decision and he was in fact ill and maybe should have been at home.  As a result of this I am keeping him off for two more days and have had to cancel a much awaited play date – he didn’t make a fuss about that indicating that he really wasn’t feeling very well.

Alistair is very rarely ill and is always on the move so when he told me he felt ill and stayed unnaturally still I should have listened to him instead of suspecting that he was trying to miss school.  Being a parent is so difficult at times because you swing from worrying that they are seriously ill and in need of hospital treatment to missing the signs that they are ill.


I really truly thought that I had managed to bring up a child who like the simple pleasures of sticks, stones and mud as opposed to wanting to blow copious amounts of cash going to places where he will end up finding sticks, stones and mud to play with.  Alas I have been virtually unsuccessful in this attempt – I give my son pocket money so he can have a bit of financial freedom.  My crafty boy hides his cash and still expects me to pay because he wants to save his money and it is not fair that I expect him to spend his.  One thing I have discovered is that if you don’t expose children to places that are screaming out for cash they are no longer distracted by the need to spend and they settle to play with what they have around them.  Bearing this in mind I have thought of five activities that won’t cost you a penny – unless you buy sweets and ice cream of course.

Make A Mud Kitchen

Creative Digital Camera

This is definitely not for the feint hearted and those who cannot abide dirt but it will keep them entertained for hours.  Choose a corner of the garden where there is mud that is easy to access, bring out the pots and pans, add water and let your child have fun.  Put old clothes on them and it won’t matter how dirty they get.  I remember spending the whole summer holidays playing in the coal bunker – I got so filthy and looked as if I had been down a mine but I can’t remember the paid activities I did that year.

Make Natural Sculptures

1005746_530902153632412_1778580400_n

I always mention this one and talk about Andy Goldsworthy as an example.  Basically all it involves is collecting any bits of nature or rubbish (as long as it is safe) lying around and making a picture out of it.  We live right by an estuary and there is often loads of treasure lying around for us to use; drift wood, plastic bottles, old shoes, bits of plastic, straw and stones.  You will be surprised at how creative your child an be and how explaining what they have made can improve their language and imagination skills.

Visit The Local Playground

allithwaite playground

This activity does sometimes coincide with a visit to the sweetshop but often allows you to relax and chat to other parents while your child is completely occupied by other children in the playground.  Visiting a playground regularly means that you don’t have worry about having playground equipment in the garden at home.  In my experience children tend to look for the mud and stones in every playground they go in so don’t put them in their best togs – it will only drive you mad.

Make A Picnic And Go To The Beach

Children_on_the_beach_by_namioevangelista

If anything was invented for children to run free and parents to relax a little – it was the beach.  make sure you set ground rules like; don’t go into the sea without supervision, stay within sight, Keep off the road and by no account go home with anyone else you should be able to let your little monsters run free.  You will find yourself making sandcastles and digging moats, so cast off your inhibitions and dig down and get sandy.

Go Round To Grandma’s 

If Grandma lives too far away go and visit friends and relatives instead. Grand parents are generally so excited to see their grand children that they will quite happily entertain them for the whole afternoon – giving you the chance to relax with a cup of coffee, home made cake and a bit of peace and quiet.

These are very simple suggestions but they are surprisingly very time consuming and once you ignite your child’s imagination they develop momentum and can enjoy playing for hours and hours.  Whatever you do – enjoy them while they are young! As for my son being very money minded he informed me yesterday that money was not important,  life was and he knew that just because he knew.


Spring has finally sprung the sun is shining and finally the rain is holding off long enough for us to enjoy the great outdoors.  When I pick my son up from school we will be spending time in the playground with all of the other parents and children.  Having a wonderful playground so close to the school is wonderful because it allows the children to expel the pent up energy they have saved while working hard at school.  My son and his friends are definitely ready to spend after school running around outside climbing on the playground equipment and digging holes in the mud.  Hopefully being able to play in a more open and freer environment will help him and his best friend to stop bossing each other about and getting each other’s backs up.

pl

Play England have devoted a whole section on the benefits of outdoor play because they believe that it is important that children learn skills that cannot be learned easily in the classroom.  Apart from the obvious health benefits of climbing on playground equipment and getting lots of exercise, children also learn how to interact with others and deal with conflict.  Playground equipment also offers the opportunity to conquer fears about height and balance.  Children also enjoy the freedom to abandon the playground equipment and find parts of the playground where they can hide and play imaginative games.

Visiting the playground as a parent can either be a sociable occasion where you chat to other parents or you find a quiet place to catch up on some work you need to do on your mobile phone.  Leaving the playground generally involves lots of time warnings and watching your reluctant child clamber on every piece of playground equipment before they reach the gate, only to forget their shoe and spend the next ten minutes looking for it.


The other morning before school, we had what can only be described as a small blizzard. I peeled back the curtain to see whether I needed to take an umbrella out with me for the walk to school (or if the wind was too strong for one to be remotely effective) and was met with a blanket of white stuff over the cars, trees and paths.

The snow obviously meant we had to make time for a quick play outside in the public playground across from the school. It’s amazing how a bit of snow transforms a place and makes it a different world almost.  Suddenly, a playground they know so well (although usually still fun and met with a good amount of excitement each visit) is a totally new and exciting place. What is it about snow that sends both kids, and adults too if we admit it, (so long as we don’t have to drive or travel anywhere as unfortunately we have to take a slightly more realistic and sensible approach to it!) a little bit crazy and very happy indeed?

Unfortunately as I look out of the window right now there are strong winds and a fair amount of rain so I’ll keep my dreams of a white Christmas fairly realistic at this point. Come on weather, you’ve got one week to produce some snow for us…but then make sure it disappears quite quickly please as I have to be back at work on Monday!

628x471

Oh, and I decided not to take an umbrella by the way…Oh, and also not to walk either!


Hey I’m on Mumsnet!!

mumsnet bloggers network

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 322 other followers

Calendar

December 2018
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Hey I am On Tots 100!

TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100
Advertisements