Recently, I had the best time watching my grandson play cards. Solitaire. Sounds like a real nail biter doesn’t it!? But for real, it was such a treat. I didn’t know he knew how to play solitaire! Last I looked he played Go Fish, but time flies and he’s headed into first grade. It turns out, he’s been busy learning all sorts of things at summer camp.
Here’s why it was such a treat:
- No iPad! A huge part of my delight and his, whether he admits it or not, is there was no struggle. There were no iPads, cartoons or tech in sight; so he was open, curious, and willingly found other things to do! Way too rare these summer days. But OMG, he was the kid I remember and enjoy.
- Solitaire requires a lot of math skills! There’s so much attention needed, so much detail, counting, number sequencing, pattern recognition and patience required and all happening right before my eyes. And he did it with such confidence and ease. He was surprised I knew how to play his cool card game. He didn’t know the game was around in dark ages, when I was a kid.
- Hands on feels good. There was so much joy and satisfaction in this tactile experience. It would have NOT been that way if it was solitaire on iPad or phone. This is about feeling, seeing, touching, while being involved doing something fun and challenging. And using the whole body which activates the whole mind. Getting his body and his mind going together, put him in a much better mood than when he starts the day with technology.
- It’s contagious. I don’t play games. Not on my phone or iPad. I find it totally unsatisfying. And it’s been a while since I had real cards in my hands, but I do now and it’s strangely satisfying. After a few rounds of individual solitaire, we played a few variations he learned at school and one he made up on his own. Big brother saw us, joined in and decks of cards were used for all sorts of card games for the rest of the day and into the next.
- The cards have found a permanent place on the kitchen table! Just having them there has been inviting, even tempting for everyone young and old. And as we play more card games, we’ve been interacting more, playing more, laughing more, young and old alike all without screens.
So, what do you say? Next time the kids are bored or those grandkids are over, pull out those cards and play some old fashioned Solitaire.
Leave a comment letting us know what activity or game from your childhood your child has recently discovered.