Why Playing is Hard Work

For the last few weeks, all my two year old son wants to do is play.  When he wakes up in the morning, the first word that comes out of his mouth is, "Play." Then he asks my wife or me to play with him.  After a nap, after a meal, or just about anytime we ask him what he wants to do, he almost always says the same thing, "Play!"

What many people don't understand is that playing is hard work.  It's how my son is learning about the world around him.  Every time he plays, he is fascinated with whatever he is doing.  I've watched him dip a cup into water, slowly pour it, and repeat several countless times.  When he does that, he is curiously exploring properties of gravity, the viscosity of water, and developing his motor skills.  When he plays with his blocks or Legos, he is practicing his spatial skills and creativity.  Playing with other kids starts to build them a foundation of social skills that they will need throughout their whole lives.

Knowing that, I take play very seriously.  When my son wants to play, I try to give him as much quality play time as possible.  Not only should it be fun, but also engaging and meaningful.  Playing with him tires my wife out, and especially me, but we do it for the future of our little one.

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