Free Play-take your child’s lead

Dear Parents,
I know it may not be exciting to you to explore the soil or watch a caterpillar or pretend to cook, when you are thinking about the mortgage, what you need to get at the grocery store, and whether the car needs a tune up. Here’s a chance for you to shed all that adult worry for a short time and enter the world of a child. Come on outside to the Edible Schoolyard. Ask your child to lead the way. See where he wants to go. Ask him questions. Encourage him to notice things but don’t make it your job to just point things out. See what captures his attention. If he wants to follow the bee from flower to flower, go with him.

If she is fascinated by gravel on the pathway, don’t lead her away to something that you want to see or do. Don’t think of it as a waste of her time or yours. She is figuring out what things feel like… her mind is absorbing all of the experiences she is having. You can help her name the texture and see if she wants to compare the texture to something else. Join her world though and pick up a handful of gravel for a minute. See how long she can concentrate on what she is doing…now see if you can concentrate for that long!

And when you are both filled with wonder, hold hands and smile at each other!

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