Warning! I’m preaching today so delete if you don’t want to hear me!
Kalina will be three this week, and Holly took her to the store and let her pick out a baby doll for her birthday. She’s the proud new mother of Tinza. (Who knows where she came up with the name?) She loves her baby and rocks her, sings to her, and reads her stories. She also takes her for walks in the stroller as she talks on a play cell phone. (Just like her mom!)
I am struck once again with the thought of how quickly children grow up. Life is so simple when they are three and are happy with a $15 baby doll. Before we know it, she’ll be eight like her brother and probably want expensive electronic games or dolls that wear clothes more expensive than mine.
Last year when I was volunteering at a local school I asked a little girl what her doll’s name was. The doll didn’t have a name!!! In my day, we HAD to name our babies because you couldn’t take them home “from the hospital” without a name. The world is moving so fast, but little children still NEED to be little children. They need time to play and pretend and use their imaginations. And we NEED to take time to listen to them and encourage them to do simple things like name their babies.
Which brings me to another thought. Where have all the baby dolls in kindergarten gone? Seriously! Ten years ago there was a law (or there should have been a law!) that every kindergarten had a dramatic play center and a block center. Some of you have fought the battle with administrators and lost because “they can play at home.” The truth is that children don’t “play” at home. They watch television or do video games. If you read the research, over and over again you will see the importance of AUTHENTIC PLAY. Play that develops oral language, problem solving, self-confidence, social skills, motor skills…the WHOLE child! Breaks my heart! Breaks my heart! How will they ever learn to be good mommies and daddies if they don’t practice on baby dolls?
I don’t know what President Obama is going to include in the new early childhood plan, but I sure hope baby dolls and blocks are a part of it!!!!