Kate’s Corner
Sep 10 2015

  Games In My Eyes

When you really listen to children and know them and really think about what they are saying, you realize how amazing they really are.

A 4 year old little girl was laying down for her rest in preschool.  I was in the classroom and sat on the floor between her and a friend as they nestled into their blankets and listened to background music in the classroom.  With her eyes closed, the little girl smiled and started to giggle.  She opened her eyes and said “Miss Kate, I have games in my eyes.”  From here, she told me that she was on the playground with her best friend during the morning and they played hide and seek tag.  This was the game in her eyes.  Children think and dream in magic.

A new 2 year old, just learning language, was standing with his mom in the hallway as she picked him up from school.  While she talked to him about his day and all of the fun he had, he just kept looking at her smiling and repeating the word “toast” after everything she said.  He didn’t have toast, didn’t make toast, didn’t even want toast.  But toast was a brand new word that he could confidently say.  His mom laughed and said to him “wow you really know a great new word!”

3 year olds have a hard time arranging their lives!  They are easily distracted, can be laser focused on one toy or event and are busy figuring out new friends.  A teacher told me that in her 3 year old room children asked her if they could “jump the rope.” She brought in jump ropes and they learned games to jump over them, she put yarn and lariats in her art center, read stories about kids jumping rope and pointed asked them to help her understand what they wanted.  While they were thrilled to learn to jump rope and use the yarn and lariats, turns out that what they really wanted was to pretend they were garden snakes who played with sticks – a game that they made up the year before.

Never underestimate your children.  They may be new at everything but they want to include you in their ideas, plans and designs.  While they often have limited ways to express this, they will work really hard to help you understand and are, quite simply, delighted when you get it.

It would be easy to smile and walk away from a little one falling asleep, be confused and frustrated with a young toddler who won’t stop saying one word over and over or just give up on 3 year olds and be satisfied with handing them jump ropes and new art materials.

But with patience and practice you will get it and this will set the stage for a life time of being included, sharing, and loving every little thing about your child as they grow.   Really.


                                          “Children don’t remember what you try to teach them.                               They remember who you are.”

Jim Henson