Monday, November 23, 2009


I’ve been struck, recently, by how differently my children approach playtime. During quiet time each morning both Jonathan and Thomas play separately on their beds. Usually, they listen to a story cd and play with Duplo. So far, similar! But what they do with their time and toys is entirely different.

Jonathan creates things. Preferably big, cool, amazing things. Airplanes, helicopters, and large double deck buses are favorites of his, and the fun seems to be in the building – once built he doesn’t want them broken, but would rather set them on a shelf than play with them. Thomas approaches play entirely differently. He builds relational settings. He wants all the little Duplo people, and he sets up tables with chairs, or benches, or houses with bedrooms and beds. His little people sit next to each other and have conversations. (It is a lot of fun to listen in.)

Here are some pictures of Thomas' playtime creations:

This is just one example, but I think the observation holds in general. They are such different children! I think it is fascinating to watch, and ponder, and I hope that as I pay attention to my boys growing so differently, I’ll be able to parent each one better.


Amy said...

Such an interesting post. I was just thinking along these lines yesterday. I'm so afraid to classify my kids or put them in a box that I don't really look to see what they are good at or to overcome areas of weakness.. You give a good example of how I just need to get over this worry!!

Aunt Sharan said...

I'm not sure how I did this as a child, but if I were playing Duplos today, I'd be arranging Duplo people just like Thomas. And I love it that your photos show child number three (Josiah) sitting in the Duplo box! That sounds fun, too :)