It seems in our hyper-scheduled lives, time for free play has been squeezed out and been replaced by rigid schedules and multiple enrichment opportunities. As a working mom, I cherish the time I have with my kiddo without time constraints and the clock dictating our every move.
When I leave space in our weekend, free of plans, birthday parties, and play-dates to the park, I often witness my 4-year old engage deeply in free and creative play. The “freshness” of the activity typically holds my son captive for longer than any toy in recent memory. Sitting beside him while he creates and asking him open-ended questions often inspires more creations as his story evolves. As he draws/paints, the colors began to dissolve, while an imaginative story feeds our souls.
In my world, “parallel play” is not just reserved for toddlers learning to play side by side, but also for my 4-year old and myself hanging out in the yard. The below creation was inspired by sidewalk chalk and water.