Rights to free play

Revisiting an earlier post ~Lara colecting flowers

Charlotte Mason published Rights of Children as Persons (Vol.3 Chapter 4) and said, “Children should be free in their play“.

She advised parents not to crowd out their free time. She urged parents to give children the freedom to play and explore outdoors everyday.  Most importantly, she warned that parents should not meddle or organize children in their free play.

She said, “Boys and girls must have time to invent episodes, carry on adventures, live heroic lives, lay sieges and carry forts, even if the fortress be an old armchair; and in these affairs the elders must neither meddle nor make.

I have watched my younger girls play with creativity and enthusiasm.

They often act out scenes from our read alouds.

They love to re-enact DVDs and videos and stories, so we have been careful what they watch.  Classics like “Emma” by Jane Austen and “Little Women” are favorites.

Make believe

They love dress up clothes. A simple scarf transforms a child into endless characters.  Each season I try to make an outfit for them.  They have wonderful olden-days games with bonnets and pinafores, or an American Indian squaw dress, or a corset (here’s my free tutorial for a child’s “boned corset)) and long skirt.

Boys love capes, a bow and quiver with arrows, a cowboy hat and chaps, or belts with swords.  A hand-made knight’s armor is every young boy’s delight!

Nothing quite beats giving children a large piece of cloth to create a tepee or tent.

Very young children love to simply play (in safe surroundings with mom watching near) with water or sand (or both!)

We are fortunate to live in beautiful surroundings.  The girls love to pick flowers, collect egg shells that have fallen out of Cape Weaver nests and look for quartz stones.  We all love to find heart-shaped stones when we go on walks on the farm.  Their collection of feathers, stones, sticks and fascinating objects grows weekly.

Looking back at my innocent young children in these pictures, I can see how fast time flies. My youngest is now a young pre-teen, my middle child, a mature 15-year-old, already quite different and grown up!

Moms, may I urge you to relax and nurture their freedom and allow them creative white space.  Don’t over-plan their days.  Don’t add too many outings, excursions, activities, sports and cultural events to your schedule. Leave at least 1 day open in your week and stay at home.  Let them just play!

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.”  He loves them for their innocence and simplicity.  We are granting them such a precious gift when we let the children play.

Blessings,

2 thoughts on “Rights to free play

  1. I totally agree with what you say, except for “Leave at least 1 day open in your week and stay at home. Let them just play!”
    I would make that 3 days😉 especially under the age of 6yrs, where they mainly play alongside other friends, but mainly with themselves. But in the end, as long as they have free time to just be…

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  2. Hi Nadine

    Did you ever use Footprints on our Land? I have been using A Beka Maths and Language with my children and Gods World but haven’t got the Gods World for Grade 5 and I was having a look at the footprints and wondered what you thought. I value your opinion. Your teaching style is so different from mine (I admire your teaching style) and I am trying to let go from being a teacher (actually I feel like a dictator these days!) and be more a mom/facilitator. My oldest two kids are in Grade 3 and 5 and I have a 17 month old…. a very busy one! Anyway I thought the Footprints would help me be more “free” and allow me to have more fun with my kids!

    Sorry if the above sounds a bit muddled. It must be because its DInovember!!!

    Regards

    Kerry

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