Sunday, July 14, 2013

Play is a Necessity

Kay Redfield Jamison (a professor of psychiatry) said, "Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity."

Discovery Gateway (SLC's children's museum) is a great place to play. So when I read that during the month of July you can get in for $5 per person after 5 PM on Friday and Saturday, I figured we should go and take our cousins. It ended up being so fun. Michelle must have played in the shopping area for nearly an hour. Hannah, who is on a strict diet and can't eat gluten or dairy, loaded a shopping cart to overflowing with bread and cheese which made Rebecca, Suzy and I all chuckle.

Everyone had fun playing in the construction zone. There was a darling little boy there that we suspected was on the autism spectrum. My dear sweet sister struck up a conversation with the boy's mother and ended up talking to her for about 10 minutes about each of their experiences with autism. Rebecca shared some of what she has found helps Hannah and gave the mom her blog address. I felt so proud of my sister for being so brave and so compassionate. Rebecca is an inspiration to me in so many ways. I am thankful to have such wonderful sisters who teach me so much.

Some more fun playing in the areas downstairs:

Upstairs there are all kinds of blocks and building materials. There was a fun wind tunnel where you could put paper airplanes and paper umbrellas and see if they stayed in the wind tunnel, floated up, got stuck, etc. Evan, Nathan, Gabby and I spent a long time up there playing with various building materials. The other kids joined us up there for awhile, but they spent more time in the "Newsroom" and other areas upstairs.

Gretchen Owocki (an educator) said, "As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past. As weather reporters and restaurant workers they make sense of reality; as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal."

I'm pretty sure the future was puzzled over, the past was unearthed, sense was being made of the unreal and the real as my children played with their cousins at home and at museums and at Dicovery Gateway. Michelle asked if we could please go back again soon. I'd really thought she was getting too big for Discovery Gateway, but she perhaps had as much or more fun than anyone.