Often when we think of children and learning we think of schools and classes that they can join to learn this skill or the other. A music class to develop an affinity for music. Or a storytelling workshop to learn to enjoy the magic of stories. Truth is, however, that children, more than adults, have a natural affinity for the creative arts. They are naturally wired to enjoy stories and music and fun games. And whatever learning happens from participation in these pursuits, needs to happen in a spirit of playfulness and fun.
The first Sunday of our new year started with a Kids’ Open House at our place. All kids we know were invited. If parents could join in, they were most welcome to. If not, they could drop their little ones and go do their Sunday chores. And what did we do? If you’re thinking this was an event that needed a lot of planning and thinking up child-friendly activities, you’re mistaken. All we did was sit and sing together some good old songs that everybody was familiar with, with some of the kids who were learning this instrument or the other, providing some accompanying music. By the end, we even replaced the lines of one of the songs to make up our own version! We built stories together, each one adding on a line to what the previous person had said, and then laughed ourselves silly at the crazy stories that got created as a result! We made some simple homemade yet exciting hot dogs and burgers, which the kids helped to assemble and serve.
Here’s what it took. A couple of adults taking out a few hours on a Sunday to create a space that was for, and about, and with, our children. That is all.
And here’s what we got. Moments of wide eyed wonder, and the magic of stories, and a whole lot of laughs. Not just at what children can and will do, but what we adults can and will do when we let the child in us simply come out and play. All in a day’s work. Of living and learning with our children 🙂