This one is for the children. In my view and perspective, this current and recent generations are losing some of the gift and magic of hands on creative play.
I often see kids distracted, eating junk food and watching Disney and other cartoons—along with hours and hours of video games. The Disney films have often been seen multiple upon multiple of times…….and the cartoon characters are often stiff, lackluster, computer generated figure with cryptic and often caustic dialogue.
While there is a place for everything I often wonder what has happened to actual play that involves development of personality, character, healthy emotions, imagination, creativity, intuition, and overall well being. What has happened to just knowledge for the sake and wonder about Nature and Nurture?
When I browse many toy stores – and there are exceptions of course, I often see the shelves lined with cheap looking, foam dolls, video games and equipment, and of course branding from standard cartoons and all. Many traditional board games are computerized as well. I wonder if there is a loss of a personal touch—with the fun of just playing games with real pieces. I feel in enlightened Medicine, we should be encouraging parents and kids and also remembering our own childhoods – of what we had and did not have to gauge in common sense suggestions toward the notion of holistic play?
There are infinite forms of holistic play, and they go beyond the standard industry setups that kids and grownups fall to for various reasons. Here are a few suggestions.
If they are already in one’s house, then commend yourself for having these in. If not, then consider adding these to a child’s repertoire to gradually reduce the addictions to standard cartoons, Disney repeats and re-runs, and long extended video time.
Play is part of our Soul Nature, and children most easily reflect this Soul play because their ego has not hardened like adults. Therefore, play is a sacred and creative act.
I feel it is important to find items that foster imagination and creativity, and those items that bring out the child’s innate and unique talents, hobbies and abilities. Instead of constant mindless games, how about having these items? Why not bring back puppets and dummies for self expression? Creative but simple costuming and making and acting out simple kids plays aides them in write and creativity. How about crafts such as clay molding?
Simple to complicated art and craft projects including knitting and sewing for boys and girls. Gardening and herbal small indoor planting can be like a form of play as kids connect to nature. The original Frisbee and other interactive catch and throw —-games that foster interaction and communication–Building blocks and all are sometimes put to the wayside for sitting in front of the computer. Real books, not just computer. The other day I saw a parent giving a two year old a little cell phone with busy games on it….who knows what that is doing to the very young child’s nervous system with its busy input to the brain? Items that include space exploration and wonder. Real jigsaw puzzles that teach real geography. Real book stories around the world that teach kids the festivals and sacred times that all cultures celebrate instead of the usual paradigm of the American traditions that are very stereotyped and over done. Learning how to cook simple items—including canning and bottling fruit. Creative building using wood scraps, junk cardboard, plastic and paper and so on–can foster creativity and also teach eco-conservation.
Again, there is nothing wrong with today’s technology. However sometimes we do need to step back to realize we need balance. And kids, I feel, need to learn this at an early age.