Playing at changing the world

25th March 2015

There’s so much we can do with children.

Loving baby

We can treat them with love and respect. We can shame and humiliate them. We can meet most of their needs. We can gloss over their needs in favour of providing for a never ending stream of wants in the hope that they will co   mpensate. We can provide opportunities for children to experience life. We can wrap them in cotton wool and plead that they may never be hurt. We can be there with them through life’s challenges. We can try to make them be independent. We can find them to be hard work. We can love them dearly…

But let’s focus on what we can do with children that actually makes a difference in the world. Oh, that’s right, that’s all of the above (due to the adaptive nature of young children’s brains and the influence we adults have on this highly environmentally-impacted development process).

OK, so how about narrowing down the field a little. What can we do with children that makes a positive difference in the world? Ah, now we’re talking.

And do you want to know the best news?

I’d put good money on these things that make the most positive difference being both cheap and fun.

Wanna know why?

Because children develop to their wonderful genetic potential by experiencing an environment of love, light-hearted, repetitive learning and opportunities for imitating back-to-basics real-life stuff like cooking, gardening, storytelling and dancing their self-expression. Children experience the full extent of their physical abilities through feeling safe and relaxed enough to be able to move and experiment freely with their bodies. Children learn to care for others by being cared for and seeing the adults in their lives caring for others. Children develop an appreciation of hard work and anticipation by observing adults patiently awaiting the fruits of their labours. Children are designed to learn. Our job is to support this natural process.

Waitangi weekend girls camp 012

“Changing the world is child’s play” is a collection of inspirations for fun, real life, world-changing experiences that anyone can have with children. 36 topics, each with an invitation and inspiration to act, for anyone who spends time with children: real life, real fun, real change. This is a place to begin changing the world for the better. A place to start when wishing to make a difference or when needing something else to try when children are around. You can even do them on your own, as child involvement is not a prerequisite here. Though for maximum world impact I recommend the inclusion of children during these adventures you’re about to embark on due to their dynamic brain development which you are supporting.

Richard with girls

So how could we all be using “Changing the world is child’s play”? A book of love for life (real life, simple and available to all), love for fun and for children, ideally all at the same time. Some people will take up this book to help them enjoy children more (believe me, I’ve been there and, oh, does this work); some for inspiration and new ideas; some are keen on affirmation on the good they are already achieving through conscious care of children; some to satisfy their desire to grow themselves or to make some sort of a mark during their time on this planet; some for a basic, and, may I say, much underrated, love of life. You don’t even need a reason, just say “yes” and get on with it.

Image of a Playcentre Trainee (3)“Changing the world is child’s play” has been shaped with the dedication and passion that is becoming my child advocacy signature. Much like childhood, my adventure as a first-time about-to-be-published author is developing through a journey of fun and challenging, real-life learning. Haere mai (welcome) and arohanui (much love) to everyone who wishes to join me on this exciting path through life.

Arohanui, Sarah x

 

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