Category Archives: Play

Art Robot!

By far, one of the coolest project tutorials yet– found here on kiwicrate. We had recently found an old motor that was J’s as a kid, but it got lost in the shuffle. So J & D dug around upstairs and found and old tractor toy that was broke but the motor still worked. They carefully dismantled the toy and built the art robot out if it. Some duct tape, a plastic cup and markers finished it.

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What it at work!

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Dress up

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It only been in the last few weeks that the kids have been enjoying dressing up.  Sometimes they pull outfits from the bin, other time they just use what they can find. Last night is was winter coats, undies and bike helmets that qualified them as Spies! And this was the first time they really acted out the story together– there was a fort, gear, sneaking around and dressing up all included.

A new way of representing the world.

Something has shifted. D has, in a very short period of time, developed a new way of drawing. It is much more representational and has a lot more detail then I have ever seen. In the slide show, the drawings on the whiteboard are a chicken, a cherry pie and a bottle of water. He also has started to really replicate environments– in the images below you’ll see he has created a grocery store and added price tags to everything.

The decline in opportunity to play has also been accompanied by a decline in empathy and a rise in narcissism, both of which have been assessed since the late 1970s with standard questionnaires given to normative samples of college students. Empathy refers to the ability and tendency to see from another person’s point of view and experience what that person experiences. Narcissism refers to inflated self-regard, coupled with a lack of concern for others and an inability to connect emotionally with others. A decline of empathy and a rise in narcissism are exactly what we would expect to see in children who have little opportunity to play socially. Children can’t learn these social skills and values in school, because school is an authoritarian, not a democratic setting. School fosters competition, not co-operation; and children there are not free to quit when others fail to respect their needs and wishes.

—Peter Gray, “The Play Deficit”