Kids need spontaneous play

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Kids need spontaneous play

Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:51 am

Overheard over radio 93.8 today - Parents today put too much emphasis on enrichment courses and educational CDs, ignoring children's need for spontaneous play. Apparently, the unstructured activity that happens when you allow your kids to roll around on the ground, scream and chase one another is just as important, if not more, to their growth.

I do remember how our parents left us alone as early as 4 years old to run about the longkangs, play marbles, catch spiders, chase dogs (but mostly get chased by them instead), fly kites, etc... and I remember those activities much more than when I had to learn my ABCs. Well, apparently we turn out fine even without the right-brain training by Shichida or golfing lessons. Of course, we can argue that our vocab in English or Chinese is inferior compared to the average modern kid of the same age, but were we really that bad without all that additional coaching? We might be pai-gia then, but heck, we were a lot more street-smart and know how to look after overselves.

Are we building greater elitism, snobbery, or worse - a class of kids that know no hardship and believes they can change the world simply by studying hard and doing well in exams?

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Postby phantom » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:06 am

I agree man. I believe free play stimulates creative thinking. But lots of parents just send kids to lots of enrichment courses and ignored the importance of children playing around. There goes childhood. If I can help it, I think the enrichment course to send the kids to will be those that concentrate on memory improvement, mental calculation and speed reading. The rest should be left to the kid.

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:13 am

Come to think of it... I think I actually thrived in that kind of environment. My family was pretty poor then... can't even afford marbles. I remembered salivating at the matchbox cars that my friends used to bring to school. So I started inventing things myself. Started with bottle caps... yup, use bottle caps to conquer other bottle caps... then pencil air battles, ie. draw planes on a jotter book, and use the pencil to aim and shoot at enemy planes coming from the other end. Zero cost but endless fun. Also the pencil-pea-shooter... improvised from the barrels of empty pen casings and rubber bands. Worked too well though... got called up to the principal's office as the guy who got the whole school armed with dangerous weapons :)... heheh.

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Postby phantom » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:54 am

Simple toys actually give lots of room for imagination to the kid. I used to have endless fun playing with simple figurine, imagining and making up stories to let the figurine act it and inventing conversation. It actually helps in my imaginative skills.

Those technologically advance toys nowadays actually don't quite help in stimulating creativity.

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Postby jedamum » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:35 am

phantom wrote:Simple toys actually give lots of room for imagination to the kid.

I let my ds2 play with ketchup packets.....actually he helped himself from the lower tier of the fridge. Then one day he found out that if he bite really hard on it, he can taste tomatoes. :lol:

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Postby heutistmeintag » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:49 am

Now, does anyone know of a local farm that allow overnight stay? Erm, pls suggest local for budgetary reason. I would like my kids to have the experience of running wild in a farm. :P

One of my more memorable childhood experiences was farmstay with my relatives. Catch spiders, pluck mangoes and papayas, feed the pigs, chasing the chicken and duck. Of course, we chased the chicken for a reason - to eat them for dinner. My daughter used to think that chicken wings come from supermart and factory. She didnt realize that the wings come from chicken. lol

The most unpleasant experience happened when I was enjoying the fresh morning air. A grasshopper (1" size) flew into my mouth and I immedaitely puked on the spot (and in fact several more times later in the day). Even till today, I can still remember vividly the nauseating feeling of the wings on my tongue and thorny legs sticking to my lips. *puke*. My sadistic children always rofl when I related to them this story.

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Postby BlueBells » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:51 am

My kids can have an hour of fun just playing with a regular round balloons. They also love playing with water and plants, as if they are cooking.

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Postby breguet » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:15 pm

heutistmeintag wrote:Now, does anyone know of a local farm that allow overnight stay? Erm, pls suggest local for budgetary reason. I would like my kids to have the experience of running wild in a farm. :P

One of my more memorable childhood experiences was farmstay with my relatives. Catch spiders, pluck mangoes and papayas, feed the pigs, chasing the chicken and duck. Of course, we chased the chicken for a reason - to eat them for dinner. My daughter used to think that chicken wings come from supermart and factory. She didnt realize that the wings come from chicken. lol

The most unpleasant experience happened when I was enjoying the fresh morning air. A grasshopper (1" size) flew into my mouth and I immedaitely puked on the spot (and in fact several more times later in the day). Even till today, I can still remember vividly the nauseating feeling of the wings on my tongue and thorny legs sticking to my lips. *puke*. My sadistic children always rofl when I related to them this story.


Hi Huetismeintag, Have you been to the Kranji farms? check out www. kranjicountryside.com. We had a blast the last time we went, from Hay's Dairy (feeding young goats) to longkang fishing (although that wasn't a real longkang). Even lunch at Bollywood veggies was fantastic - lots of space for the kids to run around. Nyee Phoe Gardens was supposed to be building some resort farmstay, but I don't see it on the website now. But they do have something for kids at http://www.gardenasiakids.com/. Not sure if this is what you're looking for. Actually, we can't wait to do it again!

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Postby heutistmeintag » Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:07 pm

breguet wrote:Hi Huetismeintag, Have you been to the Kranji farms? check out www. kranjicountryside.com. We had a blast the last time we went, from Hay's Dairy (feeding young goats) to longkang fishing (although that wasn't a real longkang). Even lunch at Bollywood veggies was fantastic - lots of space for the kids to run around. Nyee Phoe Gardens was supposed to be building some resort farmstay, but I don't see it on the website now. But they do have something for kids at http://www.gardenasiakids.com/. Not sure if this is what you're looking for. Actually, we can't wait to do it again!


Thanks brequet, we've been to that area twice actually and would be delighted if they provide some form of overnight farmstay perhaps minus the creature comfort. The closest we've been to is to camp in my friend's garden, Pasir Ris Park and Australia farmstay. Sadly, I think the problem lies with me and my wife. We HATE mosuitoes. :roll: :lol:

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:51 pm

heutistmeintag wrote:...The most unpleasant experience happened when I was enjoying the fresh morning air. A grasshopper (1" size) flew into my mouth and I immedaitely puked on the spot (and in fact several more times later in the day). Even till today, I can still remember vividly the nauseating feeling of the wings on my tongue and thorny legs sticking to my lips. *puke*. My sadistic children always rofl when I related to them this story.


Let's compare notes. My phobia of cockroaches came about when one crawled over my face one night as I slept on the floor while I was still a kid. I spent the whole night trying to wash my face in vain to get rid of the smell (I'm turning green even as I type). Roaches really stink!

Anyway, if your kids can rofl hearing this story... wonder what the grasshopper's kids do when they hear it from their bungling daddy who flew into the wrong, um, cave.

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