The education market in Romania has recently been teeming with extracurricular program offers, covering such areas as foreign languages, music, practical skills and abilities or personal development.
The education market in Romania has recently been teeming with extracurricular program offers, covering such areas as foreign languages, music, practical skills and abilities or personal development. However, on top of all that comes an invitation to play, which we must admit is something quite unusual. Therefore, as soon as we found out “a play day for parents and children” was being organized, we decided to find out more about it. For two and a half hours at the weekend, parents are invited to join their children and play, alongside other parents and other children. The age bracket of children taking part in the program is 5 to 11, and families are invited to bring some of their favorite games, be it rummy, chess or board-games like Catan.
The organizer of these events is Claudia Suhov, and from her we found out that such a play day is a very good opportunity for parents and their children to socialize, relax, spend time with the family and learn. It is also a good opportunity for both parents and children to exchange experience. Claudia Suhov also told us how she was inspired by a similar experience she had in the Netherlands.
”I discovered this at a family event I attended in the Hague. Actually, there were several families from various countries, a group of expats, where everyone came with their husband, wife, child or children. What we actually did was play together. I found that very interesting, since those people wanted to learn from one another, to talk about children’s education, to make new friends, to socialize, to learn more about the others. And to me, it seemed a very good idea, since also here in Bucharest a great many parents have all sorts of questions, what kindergarten or school to take their children to, what after-school program to choose, what to read, what games suit their children best. In effect, I created that activity with the clear purpose of getting parents contact one another, as well as for children, to take them out of their comfort zone, populated only by the children they see at school or kindergarten, so that they may get to know other children, discover new games, learn from other parents, interact with other parents, see other family and game patterns. I meant all that to be a laid-back activity, where everyone can have a good time.”
We asked the initiator of the programme Claudia Suhov in what way such an event was more than the usual interaction between family friends.
”Talks with friends are usually the same, as you stay in the same group of friends, exchanging the same information, and it is quite difficult for you to snap out of that and discover other kinds of activities, other types of education for your child. For instance, you need to get out of that circle, and many times you need to do that in order to enrich yourself, spiritually and intellectually. Sometimes you need to get out in order to learn more. “
We all know that parents create their own learning experiences for their children, acting as an example for them, irrespective of their age. Here is Claudia Suhov once again.
”Parents are more and more open to embracing learning opportunities, to going out with their children, so that they may be able to learn for themselves first and then take that kind of knowledge further to their children. I see it as an activity that can be spread all over the country these days, targeting groups of parents with children. It is a simple activity, deprived if its limits and limitations, where the special guest is the very wish to offer and receive information, but also relaxation and harmony, together with the child or children who are the other participants.”
Claudia Suhov is always happy to share the knowledge she got in The Hague, as regards the importance of playing in the family, and invites us to enjoy that experience in Romania as well.
”What we actually did was arrange, for two days, in an 80 sq. m. conference room, a place for children and parents. What they have to do is fill in a form and bring some of their favorite games, so that they can play them jointly with the others. It can be Lego construction bricks, card or chess games, Catan, Borghini or all sorts of other games they play at home and may also like to play with us, but also games we could exchange between us. For instance, there may still be children who have not discovered chess just as yet, and there may be parents or children who might want to teach the others. In effect, it is a learning exchange between children and parents. I expect more children than parents to turn up, but I hope that those who are present really enjoy themselves. We will start coordinating the activity a little bit, so that they may be able to know each other and become more open to playing and teaching the others and also to learning themselves.”
The creed of those who organize such play days for parents and children is that the most important aspect of this particular kind of activity is stimulating children’s imagination and abilities, as well as encouraging parents to play a growingly significant role in the education of their children and in the education of the community in general.