“Natural play is important for all children. On Earth Day, April 22nd, outdoor play for children is the most natural way to be in touch with themselves, their community and environment? Happy Earth Day!”

 Spring is showing its face now and children are ready to play in the mud, inventing their own fun through their natural imagination. They may look up at the sky and say, “Why is the sky blue?” They naturally have authentic imagination because they are still innocent and not yet attached to different concepts or feeling limited in any way. In a way, the ‘sky’s the limit” for them.

Have you noticed on a rainy day that your children enjoy sitting in a quiet space, totally absorbed in their own toys, games and creating without any effort? This is an important time for them, this ‘real play’ time, so that they can tap into their vivid imagination and act it out with theatre, art, music, paints, play dough etc. Children seems able to tap into other dimensions in this moment of play.

You can also join your kids and tap into your own imagination to discover what needs expression, what is bubbling up in you. Children help us expand and look outside of our comfort level or habitual routine. So having special time together helps build a special bond between parents and children. I have observed over the years that children love yoga classes with their parents where they can act out anything through yoga poses wrapped in a story, meditation and breathing for quiet time, creative time with music, art or drama or playing a yoga game – totally being silly, joyful, relaxed and spontaneous.

When the yoga teacher asks children to imagine an animal and how it moves, as an example, they all are very enthusiastic to show the pose and everyone joins in with the fun. Having fun as a family is simple and easy. This is an example of children’s natural curiosity and playfulness and they help their parents tap into this special place. As parents and teachers, it is important to allow children to experience things by themselves and to be grounded in their innocence and freshness.

Play allows for creativity and imagination to develop naturally and it helps with the natural growth and development of children. It also helps them to have an accepting connection with themselves and others. Socialization time builds good communication with others. Children will show the full spectrum of this and each child will have a unique style of playing. Children six years of age and under need this special time to use their imagination. As parents, your role is to set them up for play and leave them happily alone to explore and create in the moment.

And at home children bring their imagination to the home and the daily routine. For example, they enjoy learning new skills in the kitchen and will clean and cut up vegetables, sprinkle some cheese on the casserole etc. while they talk about their day at school. So may your family kitchen be a meeting place to share, have fun and be creative, sprinkling lots of love around.

And ‘Earth Day’, this April 22nd, is a great day for ‘outdoor play’ and ‘Earth Day Canada’ says, “Outdoor play is a child’s most natural way of learning about themselves, their community and their environment.”  They call it “EarthPLAY,a new focus to provide innovative programs, resources and tools for parents, neighbourhoods, schools, educators and policy-makers to bring outdoor play back into the day-to-day lives of children and youth at home, at school and in our communities. Happy Earth Day!



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