One of the handouts she gave me during our session caught my eye. It's simply titled "Your Role as a Parent," and it suggests three primary roles that a parent is supposed to take on for his/her child: 1) Consultant 2) Authority 3) Designer. Designer caught my eye. I am a designer for my child. The handout elaborates, "As a designer, you provide interesting play materials and experiences that promote your child's natural curiosity and problem solving."
Designer. I've never thought of myself as a designer. I investigated more. The dictionary defines designer as "one who creates and often executes plans for a project." Designer and creator go hand-in-hand. Creation didn't end at conception; it continues as a living member of my job description as a mom.
Suddenly my flippant attitude about playtime metamorphosed into a desire to meet the challenge and DESIGN the most creative and learning-filled play room/time possible. Maybe it's the writer in me, but a challenge to design, to create, to take an empty room and make it a world of learning inspired me. An indignation rose up within me to be the best designer of my child's playtime possible. It's not just about burning the time until the next meal or nap; it's a world of creativity where every color, shape, movement, etc. counts for an opportunity to learn and problem solve.
I only remember moments of my childhood, but what stands out to me are the feelings that swelled within when I was given a crayon to draw on a new sheet of paper, a toy with buttons and doors that opened and closed, a play set made of wood with swings, ladders and bars. That sense of possibility. Oh the things I could do with those objects.
My goal is to cram as many possible of those swells of desire into my daughter's childhood. My pledge is to never impede my child's ability to learn because of my laziness to provide an atmosphere of learning and creativity.
What about you, dear reader? Please share with all of us some of your favorite designs--activities you've planned or decorations you've deliberately used in your playroom to tickle the imagination and release creativity.