Tagged With play

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At the beginning of each episode of the new preschool show Moon and Me, a child places her dolls down to sleep in their toy house. “Lay down, Pepi Nana,” the child says, tucking the figurine under the covers of the tiny bed. “Close your eyes. Don’t you peep. This is the way we get to sleep.”

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If you have kids, you know that kids get bored. I solidly believe that it’s good for kids to be bored sometimes, but there are also moments when you want to shake things up a bit and you’re feeling low on inspiration. When it’s been raining for three straight days and the words “I don’t know, read a book,” come out of your mouth yet again, it’s nice to be able to pick a new idea out of a hat. Or maybe a jar.

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There is a certain scenario that my son liked to play with me when he was four years old. We’d make a house, a train and a ticket booth out of Lego Duplo blocks. A conductor would come to the house, pick up a guy and his Dalmation and take them to the dinosaur museum, which actually housed real dinosaurs and seemed sort of terrifying except that the dinosaurs were always fairly reassuring that they didn’t intended to eat the guy or his dog.

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I like to think of myself as an anti-helicopter parent, but the first time I took my daughter to the neighbourhood playground when she was a year and-a-half, it sounded like I was watching a horror film. “Gasp! Don’t step there! Don’t lean on that! Oh, geez! Gasp! Oh, goodness!” She had only toddled up three steps, and I was ready to sit down.

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My four-year-old daughter has a beautiful wooden dollhouse that she got for Christmas last year. She plays with the dolls and furniture inside, but what has been most fascinating are the home upgrades she's added using... trash. A junk-mail catalogue clipping has become the TV. Some old bottle caps are now a backyard obstacle course. A sponge is the jumping castle. A handful of shredded tissues is part of a car wash. She runs around, opening junk drawers (yes, we have plural) and exclaiming, "Oh! This can be the swimming pool! This can be a seesaw! This can be the elevator!"