Who coined the phrase “Child’s Play” ?
Child’s play is a serious business. Intuitive, creative and adventurous. They are for all seasons. Impromptu and imaginative.
Who can think of devising a game with pair of slippers ? A kid can. She will wear the left one, will ask her grandpa wear the right one, and they will walk over, holding hands pretending to be single person. You may hop, stumble or fall flat… but you will still glee throughout.
A Child has an alchemy power to convert everything into a toy.
Kitchen utensils piling on top of each other was my kid’s first stacking toy. Her accessories were old magazines, piercing one hand into a page and making it her papery bangle. More the glossy pages, better the accessories. Arranging crockery on top of each other is her favorite building block set.
As we experience life, kids experience themselves. For them, body parts are THINGS to explore. Theirs and Ours. Poking, scratching and pulling brings them the joy no other adventure can. While they learn to sit, crawl, stand, walk, run, jump.. they keep inventing their own adventures. They have their own version of bungee jumping, skydiving, paragliding and what not.
Kids are born rebellion, they challenge the intended purpose of an object. They just need a push, and they can invent a toy everyday. Spoon is almost every kid’s first tether. By virtue of making sound, everything becomes rattler. Bunch of keys, half-empty sugar can or couple of pebbles. They have the basic instinct of creating sound. Light is just another friend for them. Switch on and off guarantees giggles from infants. Playing with shadows intrigues a toddler.
As an extension to their rebellion self, they use walls as drawing sheet and floor as plates. They have limited concepts and hence more options. Anything rectangular in shape, can be a mobile phone for them. Anything circular with hole is a perspective bangle. Less is more for them.
They love to act. They love to explore. They invent games eventually. When they learn to speak, imitating adults comes naturally. The game they practice as ritual. When they learn animals, they literally make you the one for them.
Is there any parent , who has not been horse to their kids? Making me bend on my knees and asking “Mam, horshhe bano“, is my kid’s evergreen game. I had also been the snake trying to slid under sofa. Kid made me bark like dogs and growl like a tiger. I had to lick milk behaving like a cat. I have been a kangaroo on several occasions, tying her in my belly.
Child’s play have high repeat value. It gets better with each time. Its rebellion’s instruments and dreamer’s hope. They are in game inventing spree as a outcome of their growing up. They decide the rules. They decide whether they wish us to be participants or audience.
With so much of creativity and freedom , “Child’s Play” is anything but what the phrase is meant to be.