Week 2 “PLAY”

These are definitely not the most flattering photo’s of me, but they all have one thing in common
– PLAY!

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I am a strong believer that play is vital in the early stages of a child’s development. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength.  Play is essential for healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.

In my current situation, I live in a country (South-Korea) where technology is well developed and every child from the age of, well the age of being able to hold a phone in their hand, has a phone, iPad, or some kind of screen that grabs their attention.  My students don’t know how to play outside; they don’t know how to interact, and their creativity doesn’t go much further than what they have learned or seen on their phone screens. I would ask my older students (9 to 12 years old), what they will do over the weekend or what they did the past weekend and most will reply with two words – PC room. (This is where they go to play computer games. It’s a big room filla8c68272cabce4d65aa84e2f191f8935ed with computers and you pay per half hour to use a computer.)

Whenever I take the train or bus for some exploring out of town, somewhere a toddler is acting out, and the first thing the parent does is taking out their phone,
giving it to the child. Instantly the child is quiet playing with the screen.

Now, with all of this being said; I am not a parent yet.  I do not know the situations these other parents are in, and I have actually no place to judge on how they handle their kids. However, I see things that I hope, one day, I will not do to my children for “quick solutions”.

One of my friends posted this article a while back, “Mom, I’m bored”. I can’t remember much of my early childhood, but what I do remember was how I regularly would say “Mom, I’m bored.” Thinking about it now, I don’t think my mother ever gave me something to do…I would just always find something on my own eventually.

Children’s honesty

On a more positive note, the raw honesty of children can hurt, yet be very adorable.

In my first year teaching in Thailand, I learned very quickly that the culture is very honest and tells things as they are. Every Thursday when I got to school, one of my ESL grade 1 students would come up to me and say “Teacher Esthe, beautiful every day.” Every week little Jenny would just run up to me and put this huge smile on my face, complimenting me on what dress I am wearing that day. After a few months in Thailand and as I got more settled into the job, country and new lifestyle, I started gaining a few pounds, well, more than a few pounds…I was eating all the delicious deep fried Thai food like I was on vacation for life. Anyway, after our break of 6 weeks, school started back up, and as I saw little Jenny running up to me, I already felt the warmth in my heart and the smile on my face of what she was going to say….I saw her giggling with her friend first and when they stopped in front of me, Jenny looked up and said “Teacher Esthe, little bit fat, but beautiful every day,” she gave me a hug and ran off.

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8 thoughts on “Week 2 “PLAY”

  1. onechildatatimeblog says:

    I think your pictures are adorable. Reading your post, reminded me of my childhood. My siblings, cousins and kids from the neighborhood didn’t have time to be bore. There was always something to do or explore. Technology as we know it today didn’t exist; we played in the fields, explored in the woods, and made mud pies, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the technology in the world. Play was our work.
    Each day I always encourage my students to be authors and illustrators; In other words, tell me your story (I write their words) and draw me your pictures. Some of the most creative, interesting lessons are learn through this process. I admire your adventurousness; What a fun and meaningful way to see the world and make a lasting impact in the lives of the children you teach. Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Early Childhood EDUCATION Matters says:

    Your pictures are so cute! I remember when those bottles were popular!!!! Today’s children are missing on so much outdoor fun. My nephew is 7 and has a tablet in his hands since he was about 1 year old. So I have a rule that he is not allowed to use his tablet when he is here at my house, we do things outdoors. In the beginning he would get upset and cry and would ask his mom for her phone to play his games and I would rush to where he was and remind him of my rule. Now, he tells me ” I know, I know tia (aunt in spanish) I can’t use my tablet and puts it away and goes outdoors. He really enjoys his time outdoors. My sister’s famous word are, “You always smell like a puppy when you’re at tia’s!!”

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  3. Estheva says:

    Doris – In my years from birth to age 6, we lived in a small town. We were quite a few kids in the street that would meet up every day after play-school, or wherever we went. In the evening when my mother would come home after work to a “no-Esthe at home,” she would call all the neighbors and somewhere there would be a mother that says that all the kids are in the park or next door. I feel that nowadays it isn’t exactly safe anymore for the kids to just play in the street, well not in that particular area I grew up in. When it was time for me to go to school, we moved to a farm and man, did I miss playing in the streets, but the farm had soooooo much more to offer. Even though playing was alone, it was not alone at all if that makes sense. I had cows, sheep, and horses. They kept me pretty busy. I don’t even think we had a working TV for the first few years haha

    Erika – THAT is a fantastic rule! I do understand that in parenting it might help to get your things done, but there should definitely be some limitations. And just look, your nephew was upset, but now he knows what’s up and one day he will be thankful that you “made” him play outside. Secretly I think he enjoys it much more. “Smells like a puppy” – that is hilarious! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. sylviascott2 says:

    I love your blog Esthe. You put in a lot of hard work to make it all come together. The pictures you chose to post are great examples of what play used to look like not so long ago. I love technology in the class but it doesn’t always allow for children to physically play. Whenever I use technology to demonstrate physical activity I usually go to youtube.com and search for music and movement activities. I also like to use gonoodle.com and thelearningstation.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tami says:

    Esthe your pics are cute! I agree with Sylvia, they show what play used to look like not so long ago. I still make mud pies with my daughter and she is 11! She has the full tech stuff but she actually prefers reading an actual book and doing whatever outdoor activity she can. It is a bit difficult since safety is a major concern these days but as much as possible I try to ensure that she knows that the outdoors hold all the wonders and joys she can dream up.
    We actually lived in Japan for a few years – I taught English there and boy can I relate to the ‘simple honesty’ of children. They told me when I gained weight but when I was having a bad hair day, I just told them ‘image change’ hehehe. Enjoy your journey and the joys of being teacher Esthe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Estheva says:

    You lived in Japan??!! How cool😀 Where about did you teach? I’ve been to a few places there and really liked it. Oh I get all sorts of comments. Korea is a lot about image, and if I don’t wear enough make~up or wear a simple head band, I would get asked if I feel sick today haha Luckily i’ve learned quickly just to smile and nod and say I feel fantastic actually!

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  7. Tami says:

    Haha yes I know! They can be very ‘image conscious’ generally speaking. I lived on Shikoku, Ehime ken, Matsuyama City. I loved it and still think of there as home sometimes.

    I taught at several Elementary and Juniour High schools over a five year period. I have a Japanese family and everything. It was fantastic. My daughter and I plan on visiting our family and friends back there someday.
    Enjoy Korea! I visited a friend of mine who used to live there a few times and I enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mary P says:

    My nephew is 7 and has a tablet in his hands since he was about 1 year old. And just look, your nephew was upset, but now he knows what’s up and one day he will be thankful that you “made” him play outside.

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