In my Simplicity Parenting classes, we always spend one class discussing Scheduling — our children’s schedules, primarily, but also our own schedules and the whole family’s schedule. The most important idea I hope to convey during this class is the importance of ensuring that children have a lot of time with “nothing doing”; a lot of time to (gasp!) be bored, hang around and, finally, to figure out what to do with the themselves.
It is from this open space that children are able to go deep into play; to make, build, explore, discover and work things out. Deep play does not work on a schedule (“Okay, now is your half-hour for deep play, sweetie! Go to it!”), it grows from boredom and open time and, maybe, some supplies lying around the yard or garage (rope, boards, buckets…nothing fancy). Deep play is soul food for children and no scheduled “enrichment activity” is more important than that.
Laura Grace Weldon write beautifully about Being in Flow here. Deep play is: being in flow, being in the zone, being engrossed in activity. So, clear your calendar and join the revolution!