Children can be baffling at the best of times. Since the moment they are born we are often left guessing about what they want from us, we think it will get easier when they can talk but when they become verbal it can all be just as confusing as their language struggles to keep up with their busy minds. Sometimes I watch my boys run around the house in disbelief, they seem like crazy little nutters jumping from one activity to another.
Jay’s family is largely made up of educators. His Mother is an incredible Early Childhood teacher, his younger sister Chloe the same and Jay trained as a primary school teacher. It is fair to say they take a greater look at human development and the balance between ‘Nature vs Nurture’. Sometimes, without knowing it and with the best intentions we lead our children down a path that we enjoy, it makes sense, if you like the activity you are participating in, you will have a greater level of engagement with your child while doing so. In some cases your child will have little to no interest in the activity and is just feeding off your enthusiasm which you mistakenly take as ‘interest’.
As we all know there is no real guide to parenting, which is a great thing because all of our children are different, all of our experiences and ideaological standpoints are exactly that, our own. In the end, we are all just trying our best to nurture amazing little humans to make the world we live in a better place. We don’t need a degree to teach the fundamentals of life but it does help to have some of that knowledge and this is what I found when I was introduced to the Clever Play website. Once I completed the short questionnaire for both Hunter and Oscar (although they are genetically identical the disparities within play patterns and how they creatively express themselves are vast) the murkiness of learning styles became dramatically clearer. Sometimes it is a little tricky to see the forest for the trees, but as they said in other reading I did ‘Once we see the patterns, we can support and extend them.’ And to me, that is key. We all give our children 100% but are we putting that effort in to the right learning opportunities? We don’t want to take the fun out of being a kid by trying to slam some form of ‘Specific Learning Outcome’ in to climbing a tree, but knowing how your child best interacts with the world definitely helps. I didn’t have my mind completely blown by what I found out in terms of play patterns, but the examples of how to support and encourage them were beeeeeyond helpful.
In our case, Hunter aligned with the ‘Transforming’ pattern, he is a hyper creative little soul, something as simple as instead of making a sandcastle at the beach while Jay is out surfing, I will encourage him to make a village for something he loves, at the moment it is Unicorns so he will make ‘A unicorn village at the end of a rainbow’. Every element and aspect is thought out, where the sun is & how many unicorns can live in the village etc. The level of pride and creativity he displays makes my heart swell.
Oscar was more aligned to the ‘Enclosing/Enveloping’ pattern - he sits in any box he finds and it is transformed in to a rocketship and ‘speeding motorbike that is the fastest in the galaxy’, his tunnelling through our bed is his way of looking for friendly rabbits to hop with, his magnetix (the boys loooooove this stuff, think you can get it from Kmart) builds are vessels for undersea and space exploration. All of this comes out of the simple question: ‘That looks amazing what have you built there?’
Like I said, we are all just trying our best, the Clever Play website helps me feel like I am encouraging my boys’ natural growth and development, teaching me so I know what is firing up their amazing little minds. With 90% of the brains pathways created before they reach school everything is worth trying. I would love to see what other people think of this, sharing ideas and activities that work well for them. Like all learning, it’s a journey and this just helps to light the way a little more.
Sponsored by the Clever Play website but all thoughts are my own.