Having the background I have – both being educated in child development and having experience working with kids as a nanny for many years – I have always understood that play is a child’s work. For most children, play is naturally a learning process. As a nanny, I would often create play situations that would help the child meet the next developmental goals – for instance, repetitive up-down on a see-saw or taking color walks where we look for things of a certain color.
With Kiran, it seems I can never quite let this part of my brain rest. I noticed it again today when we were at the park. As I’m pushing him in the swing, I’m thinking – oh, I should push him side to side for awhile to help build his vestibular system (this is that inner ear/balance system – we work on this in PT frequently). We go down the slide and at the bottom, every time, I have him scoot to the edge and stand up into me from a sitting position. We practiced standing on the wood chips with his hands pressed up against the rock wall – both to give him practice standing on a different surface and to give him that input in his hands (the same type he would get if he were on hands and knees). And then we stood on the concrete at part of the play structure that was the right height for standing, just to get some more standing practice in.
I struggle to turn it off. I have to intentionally focus on turning that part of my brain off so that I can sometimes just enjoy play time with Kiran.
Honestly, I do it best when I’m reading to him or singing to him. Although, I know both inherently help him with speech….
See what I mean?