Thursday, 27 December 2012

Joy of just being a kid - 24 Dec 2012

We've gathered some friends and relatives together for some fun and fellowship on Christmas eve. Weather has been extremely kind - cooling and cloudy the whole day set the mood for Christmas. I don't normally blog about parties, but again and again we've noticed how kids enjoyed unhurried time to play and the importance of allowing lots of free and unstructured play.

Indeed BBQ preparation was the perfect time for everyone to warm up and have fun. We've not planned any activities for the kids but just let them be involved in what we're doing. They've plenty of time to mix with others, handle problems on their own, explore at their own pace, develop their own interests and indulge in a sort of pretend play that would help them to understand how to create their own happiness. Indeed it's the joy of just being a kid. 

 We've many volunteers, and some on waiting list to start the fire. We wanted to have fun with BBQ and at the same time, minimise eating burnt food. So we kept to only potatoes and sweet potatoes for BBQ and set up the electric grills to do the hamburgers.

Multicolor salad to accompany the BBQ! YUM.

The kids somehow figured out their own ways to make the football game worked for as young as 6 years old up to 14 years old. Wished we've a better picture to capture the moment, but tis was our only picture.  

A brief drizzle brought the sweat-drenched boys to a game of chess. And one of the older boys could even join in a meaningful conversation with the adults.

Choc delight, sometimes a picture says more than a thousand 'sweet' words!

Tis always worked - toasty marshmallows! It's their favourite time of the party.

We've made this special "Bueno chocolate cake" for Letitia to celebrate her birthday on Christmas day. It's not a real cake, but it definitely made her day.

Made these tarts in time before midnight. Selling like hot cakes.

We've come to almost the end of the school holidays. Like many parents, we may have planned many organised & enriching activities & events for our kids during the long holidays. We've got ourselves to believe that we've to make every moment count; we've to fill our kids like empty vessels. Parents feel compelled to give their kids every advantage they could afford. Is it any wonder that when kids have a free moment, they complain that they're bored? More likely, they simply don't know what to do with themselves. Of course some of these activities bring joy and fulfilment to our kids, but the time for unstructured play has decreased. 

It's Christmas! Grab the candy canes made from beetroot.

Children naturally, when left on their own, will take initiatives and create play in the world around them. I hope that unstructured play time will continue to be an important element of our children's lives.

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