Child’s Play: Rediscovering the Joy of Play in Our Families and Communities
Written by: Silken Laumann
Random House Canada $29.95
It’s been a long time since I have been so affected by a parenting book. Child’s Play is one such book that captivated me. I read it cover to cover and was thrilled to discover that there is a school of thought out there that believes we, as a society, are over-scheduling our children. In this new book, Olympic rower Silken Laumann reminds us that we need to slow down and let our kids play. Not necessarily play on teams and in clubs, but good old-fashioned play in the backyard or at the local playground. “Kids want to play, they want to try new games, they enjoy running around…Sometimes adults just have to help them get started.”
In Silken’s opinion, there is too much driving and not enough running and playing. Our childhood obesity rates are rising. It is true that our children need to learn the value of teamwork by playing on teams but if you have ever witnessed an Under 6 soccer match, you will agree that children of this age are egocentric and cannot realistically understand positions and anticipate plays. We should not expect them to be able to do this.
The book highlights groups around the country who have succeeded at getting their kids ‘out to play’. Reading of these accomplishments is inspiring to those who think along the same lines. At the end of the book, there are descriptions of old games that we can play with our children. These are sure to bring back memories for many of us.
Silken Laumann will be giving the keynote address at the Kin Canada National Conference on Friday, August 18 at 10am at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre. We will also welcome her at 3pm on the same day at the Rothesay Common where she will speak about her book and play with the children in attendance. As always, everyone is welcome.