Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Costume Trunk book post

My 2nd post for my new book club: From Left to Write.

In The Costume Trunk, Courtney and her friends discovers the magical world of Paddywhack Lane where all they need is their imagination to have fun. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own. You can read other members' posts inspired by The Costume Trunk by Bob Fuller on book club day, July 28 at From Left to Write.

As I read this book about children dressing up in costumes and exploring a magical land, I kept thinking about the power of imagination. It's such a critical experience for small children-they learn about navigating our big world and make sense of the fears they may have by acting it out. However, in our current days, it seems like the world of make believe is being pushed along the wayside. Play kitchens and dress up toys are disappearing from kindergarten classrooms, replaced with desks and more and more work. Video games occupy many kids all day long-playing in someone else's imaginary world. Why not let kids be kids a little longer (especially when being an adult today is pretty scary!)???
This summer, I did not plan much at all for my kids. Yes, there were days when they were bored and whining, yes, there were days I wanted to ship them off to some camp or class...but they did a lot of playing! Lego worlds, car races, lots of rescue games-especially when you have a little 3-year-old girl who loves dressing up like a princess! I loved seeing the interaction between my kids, the push and pull, the conversations I eavesdropped on. Did the TV get turned on? Yes...but once it was turned off, they quickly found something else to do. I really saw the PLAY that happened this summer, and I really think it's for the better. It seems like there is a large group of parents out there (at least with many of the friends I know and some of the blogs I read) who are trying to go "back to basics" with our kids: resisting the blatant consumerism, the push to sign up kids for every activity out there, overcommitting their families... It is a hard balance sometimes. I just know my kids would love doing some of the classes out there. But hey, they have their whole lives ahead of them. They are only young once. So, my kids will be the ones eating dinner at home, playing on their bikes out front, doodling on paper, and saying,"Mom, I'm bored!" And that's OK with me.


Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

Kudos to you for doing this. I'm working on less screen time for my daughter.

Joy said...

Sounds like a great summer!

P said...

In this day and age of peer pressure and ambiguous parenting, it is tough resisting the external forces driving most of us to over-schedule and over-commit our children and our families. I admire your courage and backbone.