Tuesday, May 31, 2011

PlayWatch: When Grown-Ups Play

The Museum's hands-on learning environments can entertain kids of all ages for hours – and grown-ups, too! We love it when we discover the "big kids" completely engrossed in their play, whether with or without their children. It happens regularly in front of the funny mirrors, when moms and grandmoms get lost in a fit of giggles together. Upstairs, in Shape Space, often a mom and dad will be completely absorbed by building with the Jovo tiles or wooden unit blocks – working separately or together. Then, after a while, the kids will interrupt: "Mom and Dad, are you done yet? We're ready to play somewhere else now!"

A great example of grown-up play happened on Friday, when a mom spent an hour or more building an elaborate dog in Play Power, captivated as she stacked the narrow wooden Kapla blocks in careful tiers. Staff and visitors were so impressed by the finished product that no one wanted to take it down! Meanwhile, her 3-year-old son played busily nearby the entire time, just as involved as his mom.

We love that the Museum can foster such focused play experiences, and that adults feel comfortable stepping back and giving a child the freedom to play on his or her own. Now that's great parallel play!

1 comment:

Janice O'Donnell said...

Everyone needs to play - grown-ups too! We hope that when adults themselves are engaged in deep, focused play like this, they may reflect on how good play is for their kids. And for themselves.