Just plain old playing.
It took me a couple of years of playing with my granddaughter till I discovered just how awesome a child's mind can be. I have blogged about this before.
As a parent, I didn't spend much time playing. I played with my children, but it was always with an agenda, trying to teach them something or give them what was the new buzzword in the eighties--- 'quality time.' It's almost second nature to play with my granddaughter. She acts like I'm her age. We're play friends.
It's fun to pretend with her. If I get tired of playing, all I have to do is stay near her. I'm still in the scene she is creating.
Last night we were back in a game she invented when she was four. We are taking a trip to San Diego Zoo and Sea World. We pack, get on the plane, get on the bus, pet the animals.
The scenarios are getting richer in detail. We went to the Shamu show. She jumped in the tank with the whale. She went on to explain that her clothes were magic and did not get wet. I had to jump in the tank next.
Don't worry Nana, your clothes aren't going to get soaked. They aren't magic like mine, but they have a little magic on them. You can swim down and pet Shamu. Cmon Nana, go, take a chance, pet Shamu.
I jump on the ottoman plunging deep into the salty Shamu sea water. She is clapping, telling her dolls to "watch their mommy."
My face is against the leather when I hear the front door open. It is time for real dinner. My daughter is here with Chinese take-out. Now we can get back to reality.
No, Kenz has already decided that we are going to the snack bar at Sea World, her dolls are coming along. She is still playing.
I tell you.... some children would 'play' till the cows came home. (Where did that expression came from?)
Here's a link my sister Neci sent me. It's from NPR, about playing, just how very important it is and how children today sadly, are missing out.