Too Busy Playing-- Could They Really Be Learning Anything?

We were too busy playing today to bother with schoolwork.

We got up early and picked up my mother to spend the day with us.  They visited with their grandmother, watched TV and played video games until it was time to head out to our homeschool group's 14th annual NOT back to school beach day.

Ian really wanted to bring his bike but we don't have a bike rack and so I told him if he could help me figure out a way to make it fit in the back of the car he could bring it.  It took us a little while and a bit of adjusting but we got it to fit. 

It was cloudy, windy, and cool but we had an amazing time!  We stayed for 4 and a half hours!  I couldn't believe it.

The boys did not want to leave but we had to drop my mom off and get home in time to get ready for Alec's soccer practice.

I observed my kids playing today and saw so much going on; social development, physical education, science, math, etc.  They were living it!

  • The boys dug a gigantic hole on the beach and compared the layers of sand, silt and clay that they found.  
  • They experimented with smearing the sand on their arms and hands and watching it dry and flake off.  
  • They compared what they found at this beach to our beach at home and even to the beach at the oceans we've been to.  
  • They observed a heron and a flock of seagulls; both of which were hovering in place in the wind.  One of the boys tried to feed the seagulls and we watched them all swarm and flock.   
  • Ian rode his bike on all sorts of surfaces.  He experimented with what it felt like to ride it along the water's edge and tried very hard to teach himself to jump his bike off the edge of the pavement.  
  • The younger two boys spent most of their time swinging and trying to see how high they could go, what it would feel like to drop their heads behind them and what it would take to stop swinging without putting their feet down.  
  • They ran around on the climber and tried climbing up poles they'd normally slide down.  
  • They made new friends and reacquainted themselves with old ones.  
  • At one point Ian tried to figure out how old a car was that was made in 1997; with just a little bit of thought he was able to come up with the right answer on his first try.  
  • The sliding handle the younger boys wanted to play with kept getting stuck and rather than asking for help Alec decided to search for a long stick and use it to prod the handle to where they could reach it.  
  • They often come up with their own creative solutions when they think us moms aren't looking or are too busy to help them.  
  • One of the veteran homeschool moms brought a few boxes of games and books she was looking to get out of her house and Alec picked up a new animal book that he started to read on the ride home. 

All the kids playing together and helping on another. 

Our fun delight- directed learning day continued long after we left the beach too.

We headed to the library and managed to listen to quite a bit more of our book on CD.  Evan made up a mad lib on the spot while driving asking the boys for a plural noun.  When they answered dogs he made up a quick two line story inserting the word in the funniest spot!

 The boys played video games and watched movies for a bit before we headed out to the soccer field.  Alec played with his team, listening to his coach and was so proud that he was complimented on his throw in's.  He pushed himself to run further and faster when they were running drills and he had a great time; telling Evan that he should play soccer too since it's so much fun.
While he was playing my husband and I walked the track and the younger two boys sat with family members.

Ian ate some of his aunt's fresh grown tomatoes (she has the tiny ones) and he just loved them. So much so that he brought a bag home to snack on.

Ian and Evan started rolling down the huge hill on the side of the field.  Pretty soon they turned onto their bellies and started trying to slide down the hill.  They were giggling and have a great time.

Their uncle started taking their arms and pulling them down the hill.  He'd give them a good tug, get them to pass under his legs like a bridge and let them go.

They had a ball flying down the hill and even tried a few rides with Evan riding on top of Ian's back.  It's just playing but really they're experimenting with friction, gravity, motion and all those other wonderful science concepts. 

They tried to decide who was going faster and why.

We ended our night with a beautiful display of a rainbow appearing over the field and smiles on all their faces.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful day and LOTS of learning being done through play. #familyfunlinky

  2. What a wonderful day out, there really is so much to be learnt from all the things we do regularly without thinking about it. Thank you for sharing with #FamilyFunLinky


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