Definition of play: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; engage in (a game or activity) for enjoyment; amuse oneself by engaging in imaginative pretence;
Since I make toys – and I’m a mother of a little one – I begin to grow more and more curious about playing. How children these days play, how parents interact and play with them, how can we play in a fun way with them, how playing can help children’s development…
For this interview I have the pleasure to introduce you to Lisa and her family.
Please tell us a bit about you and your family.
We recently moved to the San Diego area from the East Coast, so a lot about life is new and interesting to us right now. Our son just turned 5, and we are really enjoying this age. His curiosity and energy just keep us laughing and on our toes each day.
There are so many amazing playgrounds here. The weather is pretty much ideal most of the year, so there is a lot of time to be outside in the sun. It is hard to name a favorite, but there is a playground right on the beach and the location alone makes is dreamy.
In a free day what is your family favorite activity?
We love to get out of the house and explore our new surroundings. We live walking distance from the beach and cafes. Many weekend mornings are spent taking leisurely walks to our local coffee shop followed by walking up the beach.
How do you play with your son? With what kind of toys?
At this point, I usually follow my son’s lead. He is very happy to tell me what to do when it is time to play. We play make believe café where he is the chef, and I am the customer. We recently inherited a hand me down wooden puppet theater, so a lot of puppet shows have been happening too. We made our own little puppets, and take turns producing the show. We also read a lot. I worked in publishing for many years, so reading to my son is my favorite “playtime” activity.
What is your favorite toy? And from your kid?
I love to cook, so my favorite toys are his play food and kitchen items. We got him all of his kitchen items from the toy company Hape who makes really beautiful wood toys.
Rowan’s favorite toy is hands down his Legos. He can sit and play with those little blocks for hours. He also loves his train set with a passion.
When you were a child what did you play and with what toys? What was your favorite one?
I loved dolls, but I also like legos and cars. I always wanted on of those matchbox race car track sets as a kid. My favorite toy growing up was my doll house. I loved decorating it, and setting up little scenarios with my little dolls.
What kind of crafts/DIY projects do you like to do with your son?
Since Rowan is just 5, I like to do things that are not too complicated. I go for messiness rather than prettiness. We love to paint and make things with clay. I like to give him big pieces of paper with paints and glue, plus things we collect from outside like leaves and twigs. Then, just let him make interesting collages. Or, we make play dough or salt dough and use cookie cutters to make shapes. This is a great activity to do when you are trying to cook dinner. I set him up at the kitchen counter and we both get to “work”.
Your child prefer playing or watching tv? What he see in television influences how he play?
We don’t really watch a lot of television. My husband and I will watch a movie after bedtime, but that is about it. So, Rowan does not watch much television, as a part of his daily routine. He has seen some shows and been exposed, but it is not a big part of his life. I would hope that he would rather be playing than watching television!
What is your son’s favorite book? And yours (from his collection)?
This is a hard question because there are so many wonderful books out there! Rowan’s favorite books involve trucks and trains for sure or Dr. Seuss and he just loves The Berenstain Bears. He loves Horton Hears a Who, and Winnie the Pooh. Locomotive by Brian Flaca is another favorite. As for me., I have tons of favorites too. I love Zen Shorts, Horton Hears a Who and Winnie the Pooh.
Please ask your son “If you could choose to be a storybook charather what would you be? Why?”
Tiger (Winne the Pooh)! because he is bouncy!
Do you know how does your kid play at school?
Rowan attends a Waldorf School, so there is a lot of play. They build structures, have puppet shows and make fairy houses. They play outside and take lovely nature walks.
Your son prefer playing indoors or outdoors?
Rowan definitely loves being outdoors. We have a dirt box in our backyard with lots of trucks in it. I usually fill it with water, and he plays in the mud. He loves playing in the sand at the beach or searching for little animals at the tide pools.
Does your kid like to create his own activities / games / characters?
Yes. Rowan is always making up little stories when he is playing. I hear him with his Legos making up voices and babbling away with elaborate scenarios.
Sounds and music are important in your child playing?
Sound definitely is a big part of playtime. Rowan has been singing more lately which is just sweet to listen too. But also, we have drums and a keyboard that he has been experimenting with a lot more lately. He went through a phase where he was putting on music concerts with his keyboard before dinner each night. Good times.
What a lovely sweet boy! Thank’s so much Lisa for sharing with us a little about your family.
Lisa shares her inspired, beautiful and simple projects at The Little Monster blog.
I would really like to know how your kids play? What’s their favorite toy, the one they cuddle at night?
Please leave a comment below.