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Walking the Line

I am thrilled to share the follow post by Sue Coates, better known as The Desperate Housemommy! A former elementary school teacher, Sue is now a full-time mom of 3 beautiful kiddos who love a great game!  Here Sue shares her thoughts on the power of play, and the important role games play as her children grow and develop.

Walking the Line

When I was a new parent…

Specifically, the kind of new parent that read every book on parenting under the sun…

Multiple times over…

I came across the phrase:  “A child’s play is his work.”

I took this to mean that when my then two year-old daughter knocked over the block towers that I had so carefully stacked for her, or my ten month-old son threw his teething toy from his high chair only to have me hand it to him so that he could fling it yet again, I, as their mother, was to remain a portrait of patience, ever mindful that this was how my babies learned about the world around them.

I like to think that I did a pretty good job of that when my children were small.

And now…now that I have blinked and a decade has passed, I sometimes hear myself saying things like:

“The kids are at an ‘easy’ age now…they arrange their own play dates and walk to their friends’ houses by themselves!  Hallelujah!”

“Ten year-olds are self-entertaining…I’m reclaiming some precious ‘me time’ these days!”

“Thank goodness the kids are old enough to set up games and play against each other now…I’d lose it if I had to play Go Fish one more time!”

This is a good thing, yes?

Yes…and no, I think.

For as much as I love me some “me time,” I need to remind myself that my kids are still…well…kids. In their formative years.  In need of guidance and a role model.

Case in point?

My older son takes a twisted delight in squashing the competition to a pulp.

My daughter can trash-talk her way through checkers like no other.

My younger son invariably blows a gasket when he loses a close game of Go Fish.

Read: I’m still on referee play duty.

And so?

I find myself walking a line…a sort of balancing act between giving my children freedom and being there for them as a playmate, guiding hand, and sounding board for the choices that they make while engaged in the business of play.

Enter ThinkFun. *cue the angelic chorus*

Our collection of ThinkFun games has seen my children and me through some invaluable learning experiences.

Our newest favorite, Swish, delivers a serious workout for spatial reasoning skills.  But, learning curve aside, it has been a fantastic vehicle for lessons about winning graciously and losing with character.  An added bonus is that I can always count on Thinkfun products to keep me as entertained and engaged as my children.

IMG 3828 300x200 Walking the Line

An intense Swish game in action...

So I will continue to walk the line, supporting my children’s work through play where I can.  As long as Thinkfun keeps rolling out one quality product after another, we can’t lose.

IMG 3838 300x200 Walking the Line

15 comments to Walking the Line

  • suzy d

    Haven’t heard of these games…am definitely going to check them out. Thanks Housemommy!

  • Lauren

    Love it! Winning graciously and losing with character – a lesson even adults need to be reminded of sometimes!

  • Melanie Maurey

    Those games look great. We really enjoy a good family game night!

  • Kate Grams

    Spot on as alway, Sue. I’ll have to look for Swish! Haven’t run across that one yet.

  • Linda McGee

    So funny! I remember that same line, and thought “A Child’s play is MY work.” But am still loving it. Thanks for the great website recommendation! I’ll check it out!

  • Megan Gabaldon

    Sounds like a great game…. And great lessons in life!!

  • As a Mom who is EXTREMELY passionate about supporting products and opportunities where children learn thru play….. I feel Susan’s cheeky post today is spot on and a breath of fresh air. (Love her…she is so witty and makes me laugh)

  • Agreed! I think Sue sums up the pull all parents feel when they want to give their children the freedom to play without restrictions, but also want to ensure that play is healthy, brain-building, and developmentally supportive! Thanks for your comment – I’m thrilled to connect with another like-minded mama who appreciates the learning potential in play!
    Best, Charlotte

  • Thanks so much for having me, Charlotte! So very excited about our partnership…I truly believe in ThinkFun and its mission. And thanks, everyone, for the sweet and thought-provoking comments. We’re all in this together, no? :)

  • Tiffany

    I have played many think fun games, as our family is a gaming family. I can’t wait to get my hands on swish!

  • YvonneJ

    I’ve yet to meet a ThinkFun game I didn’t like. I’ve shared some of my ThinFun games (the quieter ones like RushHour and Chocolate Fix) with our small local library and they are always a big hit. More than once I’ve heard patrons say “I’m going to have to buy this for …. (home, a friend, my sister, etc.).” As long a ThinkFun continues to make games, I’ll continue to buy them.

  • Thank you for the wonderful message Yvonne – and for your continued support of Thinkfun’s games and of our mission to inspire learning through play! We are so grateful to have supporters like you who value the power of a good thinking game and the skills it can unlock!
    We look forward to sharing many more great brain games in the future!

  • After working full-time for the last 16 years of my life I am now a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom with two adorable little girls ages 20 mos and 6 mos. I am new to Twitter and the Blogosphere but have been able to find terrific toy recommendations (like Swish from ThinkFun), helpful insights, and daily doses of humor from other Mommies out there. Thank you all for providing great naptime interludes for Mommies everywhere!

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