Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just for Fun

In an old album somewhere around the house is a photo of our two year old twins and their cousin riding this merry go round at a children's amusement park. We walked by it this past weekend and I wondered what happened to the last twenty years or so. Play comes naturally to a child as they explore their world with all of their senses. There is an interesting post up at Rambling Woods about "nature deficit disorder" in children. Children are given less freedom and time to explore and connect with nature in our busy world and pay a price for it in their mental and physical health.

I like watching children in parks and on trails. The little girl in pink was trying to get the attention of the white goose on the river. (an escaped domestic goose). She was not afraid of the large Canada Geese crowding her to see if she had any food for them. Her enthusiasm was fun to watch as the white goose finally approached her.

The family above was also out enjoying the beautiful fall day together. The girl was wearing a dress with bright autumn colours and it was obvious she loved her outfit as she twirled and fussed with the satin skirt. Perhaps she was a princess for a day or a heroine in some story book. She stopped frequently to pick up acorns and look for pretty leaves.

Who says only children have fun? Here are a group of my patients today at the hospital playing baseball on the Nintendo Wii video game console. The man in the brown shirt is the batter and the lady to his right is the pitcher. Another patient was quick to share that he had been a good baseball player in his youth as he tried out the hand-held pointing device. The Wii has become hugely popular and is being integrated into some physical therapy programs as a fun way to work on balance and coordination. Young adults in our family love to get together to play Guitar Hero and Rock Band. And I believe Sandland Brother, who is only a wee bit younger than me, has a Wii with the fitness module. But that's OK...

We all need to do something... just for fun!

(Isn't English a fun language...we, wee, wii !!)


  1. We were in Belgium this summer, and they have carnivals each week at different towns and villages. The carousel reminded be of that. And you are right: time flies!

  2. Around here quite a few retirement places are getting Wiis--and seniors have a ball.
    My dad can bowl on it--a favorite pasttime.

  3. I think it's so neat that the Wii is being used in this way to foster interaction and coordination with seniors! There have been newspaper articles about facilities here using it as well.

  4. The carousel picture is priceless, full of beauty and provoking memories of other times.

    And I agree that Rambling Woods' post is worth reading and she make some very good points about children and the absence of nature in their lives.

  5. Anonymous6:58 am GMT-4

    We have a Wii at our health center, and the other day I walked by the activity room, and some elderly ladies were boxing, and having a great time.

  6. Anonymous8:10 am GMT-4

    I have many great memories as a child that involves nature and outdoors. I remember skipping stones, laying on the grass looking at the clouds, chasing butterflies/dragonflies, spend many countless hours in a river looking for frogs, crayfish, bugs. As a matter of fact I still do some of it today, some 30+ years later. Maybe I'm still a kid. I wish the children of today could take the time to "stop and smell the roses"
    I'm sure the Wii in the retirement homes make them feel so much more alive. I was always against the video games systems, but we have a Wii now. We will sometimes set up a Wii competition night and play the bowling, tennis, golf and baseball. I'm not very good at it, but it's sure fun and a great way for the family to spend time together.

  7. What a lovely post. We all need to look at "just for fun" things. Thanks for reminding us.

  8. Play is so important ... children's lives are far too structured these days with little time left for "free", imaginative play. We ALL need play ... time to laugh and be silly!

    I've read about the "nature deficit disorder" but have never laid my hands on the book. I should check out the library!

  9. Where does time go....a blink of an eye and another year has gone....

    I do love your posts.....they always get me thinking.......

  10. The kids got a WII for Christmas, but I didn't take to baseball very well. Really liked tennis though. Anyway, sounds like a progressive place.

  11. Thank you for mentioning my post Ruth. I wish I was in better health as I would try to go out and organize something in our local parks for children. Otherwise we will have a whole generation of people who don't care about nature at all....it is scary...Michelle..


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