This afternoon, one of my favourite bloggers, Kristi Keery-Bishop, published a new post on “play.” As a Kindergarten educator that runs a play-based program, it’s no surprise that I’m a huge proponent of play … but not just in Kindergarten. I’ve blogged numerous times on “play” before, and could probably write many more posts on this topic, but this blog post is slightly different. As I mentioned in my comment on Kristi’s post, it’s actually Matthew Oldridge‘s tweet that inspired this post.
— Matthew Oldridge (@MatthewOldridge) August 15, 2017
This made me think about the “challenging play” that I engage in every morning when I get to camp: backing into a parking space. (Now before I go any further, I will say that driving is definitely not “play.” But as one of the first people to camp each day, the parking lot is almost empty, so I can safely “play” a bit, and work on improving my skills.)
It’s no big surprise to many of my blog readers, that “parking” is one of my favourite blogging topics. Usually it’s winter parking that gets me tweeting and blogging, but this summer, I found out that parking is a great topic for all seasons. In the past couple of months, my parking interests have evolved, and I’ve worked on learning how to reverse into a parking spot. While I’ve become fairly successful at home — with a bigger space to reverse into — I’ve yet to have success at school. This has been my summer goal. And to meet this goal, I continue to “play.”
I’m very thoughtful in how I engage in this play.
- First I pull into the parking lot, and I determine a good spot.
- Then I check to ensure that the area is clear for reversing.
- And then the “play” begins.
While I know how to pull into the spot ahead of me and reverse all the way back, I’m really determined to learn the “adult way” of reversing into a spot. This has meant a lot of trying, making mistakes, and trying again.
- When I don’t quite make it in, I engage in an internal monologue about where I went wrong, and if I need to move more to the left or more to the right.
— Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) August 10, 2017
- I try to use some landmarks the next day to get into the spot with fewer attempts.
- Initially, I was just happy to make it into the spot. Now I’ve challenged myself to park straighter … and not spill my coffee as I remove everything from the car.
— Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) August 15, 2017
- One day, I was thrilled to actually reverse into a spot beside another car, and while I was in the lines, getting things in and out of the backseat was a challenge … so the next day, I moved to a spot on my own.
While this “parking play” may not seem particularly challenging to many people, I can assure you that every morning I’m challenged. When I see one or two other people there, I feel the additional challenge of an audience watching me park. This has been a great reminder for me that what I may find “challenging play,” others may not. We all need our different ways to be challenged.
It really is the fun that I get from posting a parking tweet and making it into a spot that drives me to engage in this play each day. (I may even let out a little cry of “Yes!!” when I meet with success. 🙂 ) Imagine if we all chose to engage in some challenging play each day. Would this change how we view “play” and the learning that comes from it? I think that I may need to continue to embrace some #parking4allseasons! 🙂