Play as best you can!

Technique 82 – Understand play as a way to provide optimal opportunities.

Play is Experiential

One way to understand this concept is by analyzing child play materials. The richer experientially the play experience, the more meaningful is the play. A popular play item in today’s times is play dough. Play dough, a substance for kneading and creating, is a descendant of the mud pie. When that became too dirty for parents of the time, clay became the replacement. When that became too inconvenient for parents of the time, play dough was developed. Now, some parents avoid play dough because of the mess it can make.

I know you know what happened next…

Adapted from Constructive Parenting by Sally Goldberg p. 94

Constructive Parenting…

Virtual play is only so good and must be monitored carefully. Remember, sand in sandboxes and at the beach is still there. Other hands-on activities are also still available.

January! The Month of the New Beginning


  1. Here is a little story sent in by Max, author of the poem I quoted. He tells us the poem is called “Parking.” He also includes with his story a creative question at the end.

    Here’s a cute story. A couple years back, at the wine shop here in Woods Hole, I heard the woman owner talking to someone about water. After making my purchase I went to my car and got one of my bookmarks (I sell lots of my poems as bookmarks at crafts shows.), “The Zen of Water,” and handed it to her. Weeks later, her daughter was here for the summer and working in the store. She was talking to another woman, something about her little girls. As I spoke with her, she said how much she enjoyed the poem her mom had put on their bulletin-board behind the counter. I asked her how old her girls were, about five and six. Back I came moments later with “Parking.” Next time I was there, she told me that she had read the poem to the girls, saying, “They really liked it a lot.” The following summer she said to me, “I’ve got a great story for you. You know, I work here in the summer, visiting here with my kids. Back home, during their school hours, I work part-time. So I’m working, cleaning house, cooking, the laundry, busy, busy, busy. And the kids are talking to me all the time. One day, so preoccupied mentally, the girls trying to get my attention, “Mommy, mommy,” me busy doing stuff, when they both came up to me and said, “Mommy, would you please PLAY ATTENTION?” That really got to me! Yes, it was kind of funny to me. But also quite serious for them. I am now so much more sensitive to their voices– giving them my attention. I think of that scene all the time. It was just amazing.”

    (O.k., here’s your I.Q. Test: Why is that poem entitled, “Parking”–?)

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