I spent the weekend in Colorado with my brother and nephews, who are almost three, and six. As you might expect, we spent a lot of time playing. This included trains, Hot Wheels, and basically any object that can be wheeled, flown or tossed.
As children, play is how we learn new things about our world. It could be discovering our physical limitations while on a swing, learning about the volume of liquid in a small cup of chocolate milk resting next to our toys (and how quickly people will jump away when it’s spilled), sharing to get access to more toys, seeing just how far a car can fly when launched over a track covered with pebbles or the harsh lesson that balloon race cars don’t last very long in a six-year old’s hands. Playing is our key to learning all about the world around us, and how we interact with it.
We went to the park to play on a jungle gym, which the boys loved. The three-year old loved to race up to the ladder, climb up then throw himself head-first into the slide to be caught by Daddy. He had complete faith that Daddy would him catch and didn’t seem to give it a second thought. Thankfully, Daddy was an excellent spotter.
Independence is a great quality. However, knowing your limitations and reaching out for help when you need it, and then counting on others to catch you, is even better.
Lesson learned from a three-year old.