Creating Empowered Kids

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And Just Like that!

August 17th 2022

And just like that I have a child beginning her last year of elementary school and another beginning his last year of middle school. I get a little choked up even typing it now. 

You think people are referring to the newborn years when they say, "treasure these moments, it goes so fast," but I think they are actually referring to these years. The years when you really get to enjoy your kiddos, to see their budding sense of humor and reason. To experience the world (again) through their eyes. To hear their viewpoint on all things dinosaurs, Mine Craft, baking and hair tinsel and Star Wars.

It's the best. I recently had the most engaging conversation with my 10 and 13 year olds about how much better Jurassic Park (audio book) is than the original movie (which we still love) from the 90's. We talked about what we would do if we found ourselves in a pre-historic theme park (turns out I'm more of an Ian Malcom) come-to-life and a 30 minute drive felt like 5 minutes. Goodness, these are the fun years.

A few days later, I was putting away laundry and heard those sweet voices from another room, "Just enjoy recess, it was my favorite thing. I miss that more than anything from Elementary School," it was my 8th Grader giving this sage advice to his sister who is entering her last year of elementary. "I mean it Liv," he said in earnest. "One day recess, it was just...gone."  

Oof! - that really got to me. One day my son woke up in the middle of a pandemic and never got to finish out his elementary 5th grade year in-person. One day he woke up, and recess was in the rearview mirror. I had never looked at it that way until I overheard his conversation almost two years later.

So guess what we did? We went to our local waterpark that next day and recessed the heck outta the place!

Still, this got me thinking: Do you remember your last day on the playground?

I sure don't. But I do remember the joy I felt with my friends living in an imaginary world for those cherished minutes outside the classroom. I remember the red slide, the blue swings, the bright white hopscotch. And I can smell the dust in the air as our little feet stirred up a lot of fun.

Our children's experience of the world has been rocked the last few years (whose hasn't) and aren't we all looking for a little way to restore their childhood? To make precious memories for them that aren't tied to masks and lock-downs and "not today's" when asked about play dates?

So, we take more walks, we bake more cookies for no reason at all, we put little umbrellas in our cheese sandwiches on a Wednesday after school and, most importantly, we play.

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August's Favorite Markings for Imaginative Play:

  • Sensory Path
  • Dragon 1-25
  • Splat Hopscotch
  • Solar System 🚀
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