learning in the every day: classic, creative play
As much as I am an advocate of parents being teachers for their children and helping their kiddos to build a solid foundation for learning waaaay before those children walk through the shining school doors, I am also a strong proponent of play.
Any kind of play is cool in my book, really.
I know that not only is play an important element in kids’ lives–it’s a necessary one. For more reasons than I can count.
As a parent, from the very beginning, I reached for products that I felt would support Maddy, Owen, and Cora’s imaginations, curiosity, and learning. And time after time, I found myself with products from one company: Melissa & Doug.
Here’s the skinny:
- 2012: The Year of Classic, Creative Play — One of my very first posts was about Melissa & Doug’s Rhyming Cards, and that post was followed quickly by my profession of love for their alphabet stamp sets and puzzles. I wrote about how my kids loved the mailbox, latch and alphabet puzzles, and stamp pads for thumbprint cards.
I’ve had a big-time company crush on Melissa & Doug for years now.
But then I literally danced around the house after Melissa & Doug declared 2012 as the year of classic, creative play (yay!)–and when they asked me to be one of their first Blog Ambassadors (double yay!)–I did a jig of joy like never before. And then I hit them with a big, happy, totally over-the-moon yes, yes, YES!!
I’m excited not only because I’ll be working with a company that I can stand firmly behind, but I’m totally pumped because of what this means for the awesome and incredible teach mama readers. It means you’ll be the first ones to learn about–and win!–new products, grab seasonal deals, and see first-hand the ways in which this company supports schools, families, and communities.
It also means that I’ll be working with the amazing and talented Valerie from Frugal Family Fun Blog, as Valerie is also a Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador. Valerie is an expert in creating pretend play, making something out of just about anything, and sharing ways that parents and teachers can bring a little creative, crafty, frugal FUN! into their lives. I’m so very excited and honored to work with her.
- Melissa & Doug Trunki: We’re ready to kick off the 2012: the year of classic, creative play campaign, and Melissa & Doug would like to give away one Trunki to one teach mama reader and one Trunki to a Frugal Family Fun Blog reader! SO fun!!
Not sure what a Trunki is? A Trunki is a ride-on suitcase that works perfectly as a carry-on for airline flights or for an overnight at a buddy’s.
But a Trunki can also be used in a million other ways. Some use Trunki’s for organizing, cleaning, storing, exercising, or carrying. Stacking, transporting, or entertaining. You name it.
All we needed was a sunny day, a hyperactive pooch, and three energetic kids to figure out that a Trunki is perfect for transporting dog toys, sidewalk chalk, water, and bubbles–everything we needed for a lazy weekend walk to the park.
Here’s how Maddy, Owen, Cora, and Brady play with our Trunki:
outdoor fun with Trunki
We really didn’t do much on this day but play outside.
Under the sun, chasing our dog, watching the water creep along the tennis courts. Pretending that Brady was a lion and Maddy and Cora were princesses and Owen was the prince.
And then once Brady’s water spilled, Maddy made Owen and Cora close their eyes while she tip-toed away, leaving behind wet footprints. And then the two became spies, searching for their big sister by following her steps across the court, around in circles, and over the fence into the grass.
We colored with chalk (shhh!-of course NOT on the tennis courts!), drawing palm trees and butterflies and pretending that we were stranded on an undiscovered island.
Then we all got chilly, so we packed up Brady’s toys, locked up the Trunki, and went on our merry way, climbing mountains and trudging through forests, searching for our way back home.
That’s really all we did. But that’s okay, because play is important. It’s reallly important.
In fact, one of the Key Messages of the NAEYC‘s position statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Programs focuses on specifically on play:
. . . Active scaffolding of imaginative play is needed in early childhood settings if children are to develop the sustained, mature dramatic play that contributes significantly to their self-regulation and other cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional benefits. Adults can use proven methods to promote children’s extended engagement in make-believe play as well as in games with rules and other kinds of high-level play (from NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practices, 2009).
What resonates most with me from the whole thing is this one, big-money statement: Rather than detracting from academic learning, play appears to support the abilities that underlie such learning and thus to promote school success (from NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practices, 2009). Love. It.
So not only is play good for kids, it ultimately helps promote school success. Fab-u-lous.
And we get to work with a company that is creating products that support classic, creative play?
Makes me love them even more.
Do you want to win one Melissa & Doug Trunki?!
- All you have to do is leave a comment here explaining one creative way your family will use the Trunki.
For extra entries:
- Tweet this: Win a @MelissaAndDoug Trunki on @teachmama — celebrate classic, creative #play http://wp.me/p1NAxy-1yA #weteach #ece
- Share this post on your Facebook page–very easy!
- Share this post with a friend (just tell me who you shared it with!)
- Pin this post (or another favorite teach mama post!) on Pinterest! (Use ‘pin it!’ button below post and just tell me what you pinned!)
By entering this giveaway, you are demonstrating your understanding of and compliance with the Official Sweepstakes Rules.
This contest ends this Friday, January 13, 2012 at midnight ET. Winner will be chosen by ‘And the Winner is. . .’ and will be notified on or around 1/14/12. Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected. All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.
fyi: This is an unsponsored post, written by me as part of the Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador program. I received a Trunki from Melissa & Doug, and Melissa & Doug is providing one teach mama reader with a Trunki as well. Opinions are all my own, influenced only by my three little ones and our brave, fierce pooch. Links within this post are affiliate links.