The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Observations at a Playground

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Observations at a Playground

I was at the Evesham playground with my daughter and three-year-old granddaughter the other day.  They went off to play.  I watched the children's personalities there.  Here's what I saw...

The future CEO organized all her friends to do exactly what she wanted them to do.  When she went to one of the climbing areas, she held her arm out in silent body language that said, "Don't even try to be first.  That's my place!"  She trailed a younger sister around by the hand and exhibited every leadership trait that would make a future boss proud. 

The artist played in the sandbox, sifting, building, rebuilding, and exploring the textures.  He did not budge from his seat in the middle of the sand.  Other children around him giggled, screamed, and ran, but he was oblivious to the mayhem around him.  His powers of concentration on his efforts astounded me!

The athlete challenged his ability at every corner.  He bounced on things that were probably not designed for bouncing.  He balanced across a bridge that required much coordination.  And he climbed every ladder at the playground.  His energy seemed boundless.

The musician found the huge xylophone and would not give it a rest!  She explored the sounds of each tube repeatedly, often searching for different combinations of sequences.  I'm sure she would have loved to have had two sticks instead of the one that was attached at the xylophone to explore harmonic sounds, as well.

Then there was the daydreamer.  She walked around the playground, watching the others play, staring up at the sky when a plane flew overhead, and kicking the wood chips around.  She seemed content to watch and take in her environment rather than participate in the experience.  Interesting behavior for a five-year-old.

Where was my three-year-old granddaughter though all this?  Guardedly exploring the new playground.  She required her mommy to be close by as she explored each new structure for the first time.  I like that attitude - don't jump into something until you're absolutely sure it's safe.  She wasn't fearful, but at three, she needed a backup in case her playground turned sinister for some reason ;-)

So, watch your children at play and see their future lives.  Will they be the leader, the musician, the daydreamer, the artist, the athelete, or a cautious participant?  Children's play can provide parents with much personality information if you take time to watch, rather than text or talk on the phone while they play (which I did see there at the playground!)

Happy parenting!

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