Barbara F. Meltz writes the Globe's Child Caring column. She is author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes, Understanding How Your Children See the World," and a frequent speaker to parent groups. Join her chat on the first and third Monday of the month at noon.
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Monday, July 16, 2007
Take one empty box, add a touch of imagination...
Globe colleague Christopher Shea has a thought-provoking piece in the Sunday Globe Ideas section, "Leave those kids alone,
The topic of children's play has become huge in recent decades, mostly because it has become a big business. There's no question in my mind that play -- good, healthy, creative play -- is endangered in many American homes.
I always remember the story told to me by a family daycare provider. She had come across a huge empty box in a neighbor's trash. Excited at the prospects for creative play, she had it waiting for the kids in the middle of the playroom when they arrived one morning.
They stared at. They walked around it, they touched it. They had no idea what to do with it. The provider had to teach them about its possibilities: It could be a space ship! A pirate's boat! A school bus! They could paint it, draw on it, sit inside in.
Teaching parents how to play with their children may sound lame but in a world where too many parents think good parenting involves technology and a screen, it may not be a half-bad idea.