Child’s Play 101

Welcome to playtime, my friend! Children can learn a lot from play, in this case from blocks. Among the lessons could be balance, structure, aesthetics, perseverance, and emotions.

Let’s build a block tower. In order to achieve balance, the blocks must have sufficient surface contact to allow for subsequently stacked blocks. Placement of blocks is important to provide a strong structure. Generally a broad base is recommended to ensure a stable building. A small base could be used, but puts the tower at more risk. Does the arrangement of blocks look pleasing to the eye? An asymmetrical or random or perhaps symmetrical arrangement may be chosen. In order to create a structure, effort must be expended over and over to learn and create. Given time, practice improves the product. Emotions could be involved. Maybe a sense of accomplishment and pride could occur from a well-built tower. To a child, perhaps a toppling tower could be frustrating or funny depending upon the day as well as the cause.

Now, what would happen if the top blue block was knocked off my tower? It wouldn’t be entirely catastrophic, but perhaps a bit annoying. What if someone grabbed one of my yellow blocks? My tower would certainly crumble, but perhaps I’d still have my base intact. However, my tower would be the most vulnerable by the loss of the red block base. More than likely, I’d have to entirely start my tower over if someone messed with a red block.

This, my friend, is exactly what has happened to our world with the pandemic. Everyone has their own towers of blocks. Many have lost the top of their tower, some experienced crumbling in the middle, while the towers of a few were completely obliterated. We cannot fully function without a complete tower, particularly if any of the lower levels are extremely damaged.

In the fields of education and psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs perfectly describes what we are experiencing. This hierarchy model is depicted by a pyramidal tower such as my photo.

The essential red base represents our basic human needs of food, water, sleep, clothing and air. The orange level of blocks shows the necessary elements of security and safety resulting from financial resources, health and home. The yellow layer depicts a sense of belonging from relationships with loved ones, family, friends and organizations. Self-esteem from accomplishments is found on the green row. The very top blue pinnacle is fully utilizing one’s potential and talents.

Look at the tower of your life at this moment. Is the base strong? That must come first. Work your way up to check the weak parts. How can you strengthen those elements? Consider the balance, structure, aesthetics, perseverance and emotions of your life. If your tower is intact, how can you assist others in rebuilding their towers? Did I say children could learn a lot from play? Well, perhaps we adults can, too! We can rebuild our world, one block at a time.

Published by Linda M. Wolfe

Midwestern mystic with varying amounts of mother, teacher, artist, seeker

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