Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Creative play and daily routine should work hand in hand as a tandem pair in the lives of children.

Creative play is invaluable simply for the joy it offers children, and it in fact, offers them much, much more. Creative play is the young child's most important avenue of exploration of the adult world. Given an environment that supports openly creative play, without a lot of pre-defined games and limiting roles (for example the kind of play that results from television character/action figures that lend themselves to only one sort of play), children naturally invent imaginative settings where they can try out new experiences, process emotions, imitate adults at work, and learn to care about others and the world. They will do this over and over again, until they "get it" and move on to the next setting of interest. Creative play enables a child to comprehend, practice, and master the full breadth of human experience.

Daily routine offers children security and assurance that the world is a purposeful, meaningful place to live in while at the same time guiding our children toward becoming both responsive and responsible to the needs of society and the Earth. Children who can rely upon meals served at the same time each day, a good nap in the afternoon, and a set bedtime complete with a ritual of stories, verses, or prayers grow secure and firm in their bodies and emotions. They also experience that there are times when we humans are called upon to leave the limitless possibilities of self-expression and serve the needs of both others and ourselves. Daily routine is the in-breath and out-breath of human life.

Our society is so crazy, it is so hard for adults to cope in this modern lifestyle; think of how much more difficult it can be for children. That is why rhythm in the life of children, creative play, calmness, daily routine and of creative discipline are all such important factors in the raising of children.

Children do not need the media, malls, plastic toys, the latest styles in clothes, or a life of being pushed from this lesson to that club. They do need plenty of peace and quiet at home, simplicity in all forms (in their toys, their life schedule, their food, etc.), routine in their day, to be loved, understood and treated like children, not mini adults.

The early years in the life of a child are extremely important, for they are truly the formative years of a person's character and personality. We cannot afford to ignore the years from birth to age 7.

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