meet you in the playfort

Why do we call it play time? Why is it so important? And why is it only for kids?

As adults, not only do we loose our sense of play (unless it’s a competitive sport or the lottery), the word itself disappears from our vocabulary only to be replaced by more serious, less fun, even down right dull words like meet,  get together, make a plan, do something or  hang out – ugh.

I mean let’s face it, all those expressions are just grown-up-ease for “hey – let’s go play!”. It’s important for kids because it teaches them how to solve problems. Like rehearsing to be a grown up, only way more fun. My kids love to play. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, that at our house, we go out of our way not to schedule things so that the kids can just play. Days sans practices, or lessons, or crafts. Just play.

Educators would say that play is problem solving and social skill development. Which is true. And it’s such fun to just listen to the stories kids invent and the characters they create. At our house, which is usually full of boys, play generally involves some pretty dire circumstance that go something along these lines. Like you’re stuck in quick sand with a river of lava headed right for you. When suddenly, your invincibility (or is it invisibility? I can never tell) shield kicks in and you get transported to your base. And say you detected an alien ship on the way so you notified the base ahead of time on your do-everything super computer wrist watch, prepared for battle, defeated the enemies, and the emperor rewarded you and your team your own island and battleship. What? It could happen. For a kid, at play, anything is possible.

And that’s the attitude I hope to bring to my latest play time adventure. Publishing. Real books printed on real paper. I know. Old school. But I am old school. I love old toys and old things and old shows and old movies and old songs. Probably because it makes me feel young. Which I still think I am. Don’t get me wrong. I cope with the grown up stuff okay. And when I can’t quite get my head around something – I just pretend to know what I’m doing which, as it turns out, is an incredibly powerful tool we learned as children by, you guessed it, just playing. So for the next good while, I’ll be spending some of my time playing publisher of  a new canadian press – Playfort Publishing – right here in Salmon Arm.

So mark your calendars – our first play date (I know – a play date should be an oxymoron – a bit like making an appointment to giggle or sneeze) is set for this Saturday – at 2 PM at the art gallery. We’re launching our first book. The Lunch Bag Chronicles, written and illustrated by Don Sawyer is a delightful tale of family, fun and school day laughs. You see, every day for six years, Don scribbled stories, jotted jokes and pencilled pictures on his daughters Melissa and Farish’s lunch bags. It’s part joke book, part journal and all good fun.

On Saturday, Don will read from his book. We’ll all take turns guessing the answers to the jokes. We’ll play and there will be snacks, of course. Everyone is welcome. So come and play with us. And even if you happen to look in the mirror only to see a grown up staring back at you, rest assured, there’s a kid in there who can’t wait to go out and play.

So we’ll meet you in the playfort. C’mon. It’ll be fun!

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One Response

  1. […] Wallace, in  meet you in the playfort, reflects on kids’ play, her collaboration with Don Sawyer in his latest book The Lunch bag […]

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