By Umm Zaidah Nusaybah
There are numerous definitions for the word “PLAY”. However, the one which was chosen by our teacher is that “play is s child's work”.
At the beginning of the session we were asked about what kind of games we played in our childhood. The answers varied from racing, playing pirates, cooking games, five stones (ful-ghuti) and the game I remember playing is elastics. I remember that I would play with my neighbours. I would come home from the Masjid, climb over the garden wall and play with them. Subhan’Allah, this brings back so many fond memories and it’s amazing how life was so simple as a child, so care free alhamdulillah!
How are they developing?
Children develop certain skills through play. What we call playing is really the way children learn. With toys and their imaginations they practice all the skills they will need as they grow up. The more they play, the more they learn and the best thing about it is that they love it!
• Intellectually they are developing their knowledge and understanding of the world
• Development of language and communication
• Development of mathematics and scientific concepts
• Learn to interact with others
• Appreciate the value of friendship
• Learn to take lead roles in decision making
• Learn to move effectively and safely
• Learn to control their movements
• Learn to enjoy sports
• Learn to gain confidence in tackling new challenging movements
• Learn to express feeling and emotions
• Learn to approach new situations with confidence
• Learn to cope with anxieties
• Learn to cry in appropriate situations (when there is a need)
In the second part of the lesson we all participated in role play. I will demonstrate the one done by my group insha’Allah.
Actresses: Mother (Umm Yahya), child (Umm Zaidah) and guest (Umm Zaynab)
A mother and her child are playing a game called ‘Guess who’. They are in the middle of the game when suddenly the door bell goes off and in walks next doors Aunty.
Mum: “Assalamu’alaikum, come in take a seat insha’Allah”
Guest: “Wa alaikum assalam, how are you both?”
Child: “We are well; alhamdulillah Aunty, mum and I are playing ‘Guess who’, would you like to play?”
Mum: “Don’t be silly, Aunty isn’t here to play. Go and get some cake and biscuits for her while I make the tea”
Child: “But mum you promised to play with me”
Mum: “Go and get the food." (Looking a bit annoyed.)
Mum is busy chatting to next doors Aunty, making a fuss over what food to give her and ignoring her child, while the child is desperately seeking attention.
The child puts the cake and biscuits on the table looking very upset.
Child: “can we play now mum? It’s your turn, go on ask me a question”
Mum: “Shhh, I am trying to speak to Aunty” (she faces the guest and complains)
“Children these days don’t listen, she wants me to play with her while you are here”
Guest: “Yeah, I know what you mean. All they want to do is play all the time. Dunyai bodli-gese (the world has changed)
Child: “Mum can we just finish off the game pleeeease, you promised. It’s not fair (getting emotional and giving the guest dirty looks).
Guest: “What a rude child! You know the girls across the street, they are soo well behaved and extremely polite, not like you!
Child: “Well why don’t you go to their house then so I can play with my mum”
Mum: “Bethtomiz furi (naughty child) apologise to your auntie now!!
Child almost in tears, mums very cross and the guest is appalled.
Child “I don’t even like Aunty cuz’ she eats paan (beetle nut) and she smells of shutki (dried fish) all the time.
Mum “okay, thats enough, go to your room and I will deal with you later!!!
After watching all the role-plays we were asked to re-perform our role-plays but this time refine the situation so that the mother gives the child more attention.
In our role-play what we did was to include the guest in the game after giving her tea and biscuits of course! We all played nicely together and when the game was completed, the guest and mother chatted while the child did her own things.
This session left us in stitches due to laughter. Subhan Allah it was great fun performing the role-plays and observing the other sisters’ acting skills. The lessons to be learnt from these role-plays is the fact that many of us do not take time out to play with our children and they feel neglected when we are busy doing other things. We should not ignore their needs even if we have guests to entertain. We should listen to their needs; otherwise they may play up and misbehave out of frustration.
By Umm Zaidah Nusaybah