Play is a Training Ground for Creative Thinkers

When I was a young girl I was raised on a dairy farm in the “Hired Hand” house. Consequently, we did not have a lot of money, and I certainly didn't have many toys, but there was one thing I had a lot of and that was opportunities for discovery, play and access to the “Bookmobile.”

I remember every Monday at 4 p.m. I would head for the Bookmobile that was located about a mile away. Generally I would ride my bicycle down that bumpy, gravel lane as fast as my legs could carry me.  I was so excited to get my next volume of Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie, or any of the other special treats the librarian had tucked away for me. 

I would return home, read, and read, and then dramatize the book. Yep, I acted out the entire book using anything from dolls to pencils, or just my imagination.  From this reading and acting ritual that I developed at a young age, I did not realize that I was doing all of the activities necessary to become a fluent, comprehender of text. In fact, I learned about the world without one worksheet or test to tell someone what I had learned in a passive manner. 

Thank goodness that my life’s path has been that of a squiggly line. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow up on that dairy farm where I could be a rodeo queen one day, and a detective solving crimes the next. Thank goodness my mom couldn't afford the summer skills workbooks of today. 

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