Not far long ago , when our lives were as predictable as the Doordarshan Programme schedule, the last test paper of our final exam meant a release of nearly two months before we hit the next standard. Which we celebrated like holi by spraying ink of whatever was left in our pens!
With CBSE curriculum, Junior had to go back to school after a brief lull and the summer break kicked in only much later. It was during this lull that I suggested that he got out of the house & played with kids in the neighborhood.
Instead of first hand real life experiences, I felt he was too much into gaming & TV shows. His whole day is spent in screen based entertainment, either laptop games or Sony Playstation or Ninja Hatodi else Doremon or such thing on TV. And not to forget Mobile Games.
All in no particular order or sequence as such.
Wifi grouse was that the brat would end up doing something if left unsupervised? That’s exactly the point I insisted!! Lets leave him unsupervised so that he learns naturally to make friends, take turns in groups and deal with problems.
Sue Palmer in Detoxifying childhood rues that ‘Play is one of the main ways we learn and yet when we reach adulthood we tend to forget all about it. Its like a ladder children climb toward adult understanding and as soon as we’ve climbed it we kick it away’. She pegs play as crucial for preparing a child for social life outside home.
Her mantra is ‘Play is a crucial form of learn‘ where a child
- Grasps common sense understanding of the world and how it works (the properties of Mud,Wood, Sand & so on ; the effects of friction & leverage)
- Makes Risk assessment (including judging distances), testing boundaries, learning who & what to trust.
- Social Skills (making friends, turn taking, sorting out difficulties, getting along , Organizing & cooperating)
- Self reliance & control ( getting lost & found, coping with play related injuries most of which are minor mishaps)
- Pleasure of doing, making, creating, imagining (dens, forts, houses)
These skills cannot be learnt second hand from a screen (of which there are plenty today), they can do so through first hand life experiences