Wednesday, June 3, 2009


One of the things that has intrigued me the most about Kenson's homecoming is being able to see the differences in his play. I know I posted a bit about this before but play is an important developmental task and you really learn a lot about kids by watching them play. (Even when they are in elementary school.)

The nannies at Kenson's orphanage really need to receive some credit because the way that they cared for him allowed him to progress along fairly normal developmental milestones. He came home knowing how to do reciprical play. He played catch, enjoyed tickling wars and making silly faces back and forth. He also came home with a real love of music. He often sang as he played and liked to clap and dance.

That said, he played with toys in very general ways. He rolled cars on the ground but it was hard to figure out exactly what he wa doing. He had a whole slew of animals for Noah's Ark and a zoo but showed no interest in them. We deliberately kept the selection of toys to a minimum but even then, he often would only play with nor or two specific toys. I never saw any evidence of imaginative play.

Now, 4 months later, his play has just exploded. He uses toys for not just their intended purposes but for whole new reasons. A basket becomes a drum. A bucket becomes a hat. (In Kenson's words, "It's a bucket hat!") He puts people and animals and cars inside things and has a purpose in doing so. A Little People girl becomes Mama and goes into the airplane where Kenson tells me "Mama. Airplane. Up. Sky." A flat lego gets more legos on top and Kenson tells me "Pizza."

Some of that is due to his confidence. He is more sure of himself so he is more confident to be himself. He is also more confident in his language skills so it is much clearer now what he means. Some of it is due to peer modeling. He has gotten to play with kids at church and watch them play. We also do fairly regular play dates with twin boys who are a week older than him. Regardless of the why, it has just been so interesting to watch it all unfold, just remarkable really.

The Bucket Hat


Jen said...

I love this!! I'm so glad you talked about this- play just does not get enough credit these days. Isn't it great to get a little peek into their very busy minds? We should schedule a play date next time we're back.

Kathy C. said...

How fun to watch him blossom.

sheri wiebe said...

Kayla, this is a comment in answer to the question I asked about Pat's arm in cast. She fell down 2 flights of concrete steps and got a sprained wrist. Amazing not more happened at her age!


kayder1996 said...

Just give us a holler when you're around and we'll see if it works out. We're always looking for playdates!

Sheri-I'm guessing she fell down the stairs between their "apartment" and the downstairs "orphanage". Those stairs would be a doozy to fall down. Ouch!