Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Joseph's favourite things to do....

Since he'll be turning four in the next week I thought it would be fun to make a list of all the things Joseph loves to do at this point in time. Fun to look back at, but also interesting to reflect upon in relation to all the potential learning experiences he could be having here. Of course I can only guess, I'm not going to interrupt his flow trying to find out and in any case, what an outsider might think he is or should be learning from any particular activity will not necessarily reflect what is going on for him. Glancing down the list it is clear that a whole range of skills are involved in this play; co-ordination, problem-solving, learning about texture and consistency, imaginative play, hand control, spatial awareness, memory skills, understanding of cause and effect, properties of objects, not to mention important social skills such as learning to read the cues of another, turn-taking and so on. So here is the far from exhaustive list. At the age of four Joseph loves...

  • Jumping off or onto furniture (often in the hope that he'll fly!!)
  • Playing with Play-Doh
  • Rough and tumble with parents, brothers and anyone else willing to partake
  • Throwing things
  • Kicking balls
  • Sword-fighting
  • Shooting/squirting water
  • Having you tell him stories about things he has done or when he was a baby
  • Watching films
  • Swimming
  • Dancing on the kitchen table
  • Making up random words and rhymes
  • Play with torches
  • Watching creepy crawlies
  • Having races and running anywhere
  • Watching diggers and roadworks
  • Tying string to things and using it as a winch
  • Screaming or shouting at the top of his voice...especially when he can get an echo
  • Chasing birds
  • Going to the airport to watch aeroplanes taking off and landing
  • Playing in the park
  • Being in the bath
  • Playing outside with sand and water
  • Eating
  • Running cars up and down the hallway walls
  • Looking at books, having stories read to him
  • Watching clips from musicals on you-tube (well he is our son!!)
  • Constructing guns and aeroplanes out of anything
  • Playing hide-and-seek
  • Working out which of things are the biggest and distributing them amongst himself and his brothers according to size
  • Being on the beach, throwing pebbles into the sea, drawing in the sand etc
  • Building things up and smashing them down
  • Walking in the woods
  • Being the leader
  • Playing with coins and posting them into money boxes/charity tins
  • Being tickled
  • Riding his trike/scooter
  • Drawing over outside walls with chalk
  • Making 'explosions' by throwing handfuls of things into the air
  • Role-playing stories
  • Splashing in puddles
  • Riding in the car with the windows wide open
  • Being chased
  • Balancing on walls
  • Climbing
  • Watering the garden
  • Playing with toy vehicles
  • Having a bowl of flour, adding water to it and mixing it up with his hands
  • Talking about nocturnal animals, especially owls
  • Making pictures of 'fireworks' that involve a lot of scribbling
  • Anything to do with dinosaurs
  • Creating obstacle courses in the living room

So there we are, a list of just a few of the things he loves to do and learns plenty from. Joseph however does these things because they give him joy, not to make him more clever or to give him better prospects...just plain joy! Until someone or something gives him the impression that learning is for anything else I reckon he'll carry on learning purely for joy, and by the time that someone or something reaches him I'm hoping he'll be too fond of joy to give it up! In general there's no need for me to break down what Joseph might be learning from any particular activity, he appears to be developing all the skills he needs at the age of four without anyone showing him how, so I'll just experience the joy of watching him!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Oops, big fat fingers didn't mean to block that comment! In response to your suggestion of cornflour, water and food colouring....sounds messy so he'd love it!!