Play: Through The Eyes Of A Child


Two weekends ago on a beautiful, sunny spring day, I took my camera and headed over to the Dilworth Park Fountains at Philadelphia's City Hall and had a blast taking photographs of all the children running through the fountains.

Even though I am not a parent; having children of my own, one of my greatest joys is to spend time surrounded by children because I am reminded of the importance of play.

Many years ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to teach a creative dramatics class for six weeks at a children's summer camp in Mount Dora, Florida. Their ages went from 4 1/2 to 13, and I have to say that my favorite age group were the 4 1/2 to 6-year old's. And do you want to know why? Well, because between those ages, children seem to have no inhibitions whatsoever; therefore, they abandoned themselves wholeheartedly to any of the acting exercises I gave them. They taught me more about acting than I taught them because I learned that to be a good actor, you have to be willing to be childlike; free of inhibitions, censorship and self-consciousness.

You have to be willing to literally play. So that's probably why they refer to stage acting as "a play."

Another thing I learned from those children was to use my imagination and never lose my sense of wonderment and curiosity.

If you ever want to learn about the freedom and joy of playing, just spend some time around children.

Because they'll teach you a lot!


"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child, there are seven million."


"Play is the highest form of research."


"We play as children because we are wired for joy. It is imperative as human beings."


"We try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."


"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning."


"A child has a special way of adding joy to every day."


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."


"Keep your childlike wonder and enthusiasm alive for even the smallest pleasures and stay young within forever."


Have a childlike and playful weekend everyone!
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40 comments

  1. Oh my goodness Ron! I LOVED this post!! It brings back such fond memories from when my daughter was little and we spent entire weekends doing nothing but PLAYING! It was pretty tough...especially during the years when I was a single mom...but it sure made my weekends worthwhile!! Thank you for bringing back those great memories! Your pics are AWESOME! Happy Friday Ron!

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  2. Gosh, you have me wishing my son was a child again. Oh happy days! I love to watch TV interviewers talking to children, the replies they get are so sensible, more than some adults. Your pictures are excellent and I really liked No.4. That little lad looked so happy - as if he was about to embrace the water. Ooh I feel all emotional now... smiles.


    A little gem from my past... my son as a toddler. I wasn't feeling very well so he suggested I would feel better if I went into the living room. I've never forgotten that.


    Happy Friday - have a good weekend x

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  3. What a great place to play! Through middle child's studies, I found that many preschools are now following the Montessori principles of learning through play. Isn't it funny how educators have finally figured out that children learn best by doing what comes naturally to them?

    I think we could all learn something by watching children! Have a playful weekend, Ron!

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  4. Oh my god, Ron, I loved this post! You taught kids acting? I bet you had such a great time and I that they loved you too. I don't have any children of my own but I cherish the time I spend with my brother's children. He has a boy and a girl, and I love them both to pieces. You're right, we can learn a lot from children. I feel so good after spending time with them


    Your photographs of the children playing in the fountains are so great! I love the expressions you captured on their faces.


    Wonderful post, Ron. Have a great weekend x

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  5. Hello there Jeanne!

    " It was pretty tough...especially during the years when I was a single mom...but it sure made my weekends worthwhile!!"



    Yes, I'm sure being a single parent was tough. I don't know how my father did it after my biological mother passed away, with having to work and raising three children. I so admire single parents because it's not easy. But as you shared, it sure made weekends worthwhile.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Friday and have a faaaaaabulous weekend!


    X to you and the girlz

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  6. Good morning Valerie!

    " I love to watch TV interviewers talking to children, the replies they get are so sensible, more than some adults."

    OMG, me too! And I agree, their replies are so sensible, spontaneous and honest!

    "That little lad looked so happy - as if he was about to embrace the water. Ooh I feel all emotional now... smiles."

    Isn't he ADORABLE? I love the expression of JOY on his face!

    "A little gem from my past... my son as a toddler. I wasn't feeling very well so he suggested I would feel better if I went into the living room. I've never forgotten that."



    OMG, that is so CUTE!!!!!!!!!! Don't you just love children?


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Happy Friday and have a great weekend!


    X to you and Joe

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  7. "What a great place to play! "

    Yes, isn't it a great place? During the winter months, the fountain area is transformed into an ice skating rink. The city of Philadelphia just recently built Dilworth Park.

    "Through middle child's studies, I found that many preschools are now following the Montessori principles of learning through play. Isn't it funny how educators have finally figured out that children learn best by doing what comes naturally to them?"

    OMG, that's faaaaabulous! And yes, you're right... they have finally figured out that children learn best by doing what comes natural to them. When I was a kid, school only focused on the book work. And I found it so boring and uncreative, which is why I was not a good student.

    "I think we could all learn something by watching children!"



    We sure can!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a playful weekend!
    X

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  8. Hola Denise!

    Yes, I taught kids acting for a summer when I was still living in Florida and so enjoyed it! I got the job from a theater group I used to work with in Mount Dora.

    "I feel so good after spending time with them"



    Spending time with children is both inspiring and uplifting!


    Thank you :) I had so much fun taking these pictures and looking at the joy and delight on the children's faces. I took so many pictures that day and had a hard time selecting just a few for this post.


    Have a great weekend, girl. And thanks a bunch for stopping by!


    X

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  9. Ron, this post warmed my heart and made me SMILE! These pictures are so precious. You can see the excitement and wonderment in every one of them. And I love that last shot of the older girl with the cat ears in her hair.

    Giving birth and raising my son was one of the greatest joys in my life. And what you said about children is true, we learn so much from them.

    "We try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." What a great quote!



    Thank you for sharing this post today, Ron!

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  10. Glad to hear they made you smile, Elaine :) They made me smile too.

    "And I love that last shot of the older girl with the cat ears in her hair."

    Isn't she faaaaabulous? She was with a group of friends who were taking pictures of her in the fountains, so I snapped a few myself. I love her green sneakers!

    "Giving birth and raising my son was one of the greatest joys in my life."



    Yes, I bet it was! I get so emotional whenever I see pictures of babies who have just been born. They are the most precious things in the world.


    I found the quotes online and decided to weave them through the photos.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic weekend!


    X

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  11. Kids teach us a lot about enjoying life!

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  12. Ron, awesome photos and quotes! I love the expression on the boy's face in #4. He looks so joyous. And it was interesting to read your take on acting and the willingness to be childlike. Being an actor requires imagination and freedom of inhibitions, so it makes sense. Do you ever miss acting because it sounds like you really enjoyed it.

    Love the Peter Pan gif!

    Great post, dude!

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  13. Yes, they certainly do, Suzi!


    Have a super weekend, my friend. And thanks for stopping by!
    X

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  14. Rob LenihanJune 05, 2015

    My God, Ron, this post is awesome--and it comes at such an important time for me. I've been feeling pretty down but this post has me thinking about the really important things in life--like play!

    These photos really capture the essence of what it means to be a child. The world is a place of discovery where every day (every minute!) is an adventure.


    I am one seriously uptight guy and this post reminds that play and exploration are essential ingredients for a happy life. Children are the best teachers.


    Thanks so much for posting this, buddy. I'm going to get out there and have some serious fun! Have a great weekend!

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  15. Ron, I soooo love this, and the quotes you selected illustrate it perfectly! What FUN those kids are having -- I remember running through a sprinkler as a kid on a hot summer's day, and it was pure magic!!

    You know, perhaps that's what Jesus meant when He told us to approach the Father "like a little child"!! Full of trust, wonder, and eager anticipation.

    Nice correlation with acting -- and I imagine one could say the say for almost any creative pursuit, right?!

    Happy first weekend in June, my friend!

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  16. Mark PetruskaJune 05, 2015

    Thanks a lot, buddy. It's supposed to hit 90 (!) this weekend, and here you are, taunting me with pictures of refreshingly cool fountains. I guess the point of your post was the kids and their play and imagination and yadda, yadda...but all I can see is WATER. Ahh....cool, refreshing water...like the happy tears of a cloud-riding deity.


    Enjoy your Sat./Sun. Grab a Philly cheesesteak for me, okay?

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  17. Ron, your talent with the camera keeps getting better and better! What GREAT shots! You captured the action so well. And I love the quotes. I think my favorites are #'s 4, 6 and 8.

    "If you ever want to learn about the freedom and joy of playing, just spend some time around children." I agree. There is both an innocence and directness with children that a I just love. I cherish spending time with my younger cousins.



    Great post, as always! Have a fabuloso weekend!

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  18. Hiya Matt!

    " I love the expression on the boy's face in #4. He looks so joyous."

    Isn't his face precious? Yes, you can really see the JOY!

    "Do you ever miss acting because it sounds like you really enjoyed it."

    Yes, I do sometimes and think that some day I will get back to acting; even if it's just community theater. Acting is one of those things that never really leaves you. It's a part of your soul.



    I found that Peter Pan gif online and had to use it. I was actually in a musical production of Peter Pan and played Mr. Smee. Oh, what fun that was!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!
    X

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  19. Hey there Rob!

    "I've been feeling pretty down but this post has me thinking about the really important things in life--like play!"

    I find that whenever I'm going through a challenging and tough time in my life, it's helpful for me to not think about it for awhile and take time to play. And often, I get a lot of clarity and a different perspective.

    "These photos really capture the essence of what it means to be a child. The world is a place of discovery where every day (every minute!) is an adventure."

    Yes, and isn't it amazing how children often show us that? That's why I love being around them.

    "I'm going to get out there and have some serious fun!"



    You GO, buddy! Have a grrrrrrreat weekend and thanks so much for stopping by!


    X

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  20. Hellooooo there Debbie!

    I was only going to share the photographs on this post, but then thought to add some quotes to reflect the children in the images.

    "I remember running through a sprinkler as a kid on a hot summer's day, and it was pure magic!!"

    HA! Me too! And you're right, it felt like PURE MAGIC! Isn't it something how the simplest things meant so much as a child?

    " and I imagine one could say the say for almost any creative pursuit, right?!"



    Right you are! I think in order to be creative, we have to be childlike; being totally uninhibited so that the creative energy flows through!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy first weekend in June! Gosh, can you believe it's already JUNE?


    Have a glorious weekend!
    X

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  21. " It's supposed to hit 90 (!) this weekend, and here you are, taunting me with pictures of refreshingly cool fountains."

    OMG, Mark, 90 degrees!?!?! That's so odd because it's unusually cool here on the east coast right now. In fact, I had to wear a light jacket yesterday because it was quite chilly. But I know that won't last very long before the temps reach 90 and over. God, how I am NOT looking forward to the summer heat :(

    "Enjoy your Sat./Sun. Grab a Philly cheesesteak for me, okay?"



    HAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I promise. NOT.


    Have a super weekend, buddy, and thanks so much for stopping by!

    X to you and Tara

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  22. Hey ho Robert!

    Aw, thanks, buddy :) I am so enjoying this camera and experimenting. It's teaching me a lot.

    I found the quotes online yesterday and decided to add them to the pictures because I thought they reflected the children in the images.

    "There is both an innocence and directness with children that a I just love."



    Meeeeeeeee too! I love how children just say what's on their mind, but at the same time there is a refreshing innocence to them.


    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, buddy. Have a FABULOSO weekend too!


    X

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  23. What a lovely post, Ron! Your pictures are quite magical because you really did captured the playful essence and joy of a child. How delightful!

    I did some acting myself when I was in college and in our community theater where I live, and you're right in saying that acting takes being childlike - free of inhibitions, censorship and self-consciousness. I think that's why children actors are such naturals.



    Have a great weekend!

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  24. Hey there Suzanne!

    Thank you :) I had so much fun taking these pictures. I was snapping so fast that I wasn't sure how many of them would turn out. Several of them came out blurry. I'm still learning so much about using this new camera.

    "I did some acting myself when I was in college and in our community theater where I live..."

    Oh, how COOL! So your a fellow-thespian? Isn't live theater fabulous? It can be very scary performing live, but it's also the most electrifying experience.

    "I think that's why children actors are such naturals."



    Yes, they certainly do!


    Hope you're having a super weekend and thanks a bunch for stopping by!
    X

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  25. Ron, it can be very scary performing live. I used to get terrible stage fright before a performance. But once I got onstage, I was ok. And as you said, it's electrifying! Did you do plays and musicals?

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  26. Suzanne, I used to get terrible stage fright too. And not only on opening night, but every performance. Yes, I did both plays and musicals. In fact, I did a production of Peter Pan in Florida. And what a great experience!

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  27. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJune 08, 2015

    Oooo - I LOVE this post - so full of joy and light! We have a saying here at home: Growing old is compulsory, but growing up is optional...

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  28. "We have a saying here at home: Growing old is compulsory, but growing up is optional..."

    Loved that, Fiona! I had not heard that saying before, but it's so true!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!
    X

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  29. Great captures of the kids playing. We have one of those fountains downtown, too, and I love to watch the kids playing in it. I like that feeling of play - I went for a bike ride and played on the playground with my boyfriend's 8 year old last weekend and it was fun to just regress for a little bit.

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  30. Thank you :) I had so much fun capturing the kids!

    "I like that feeling of play - I went for a bike ride and played on the playground with my boyfriend's 8 year old last weekend and it was fun to just regress for a little bit."



    Oh, how WONDERFUL!!!!! I love playgrounds and will often swing on the swings! It's fun do regress, isn't it?


    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


    X

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  31. Absolutely beautiful, Ron! Your photos are brilliant, captured through the eyes of one with joy and wonder, himself!

    "We play as children because we are wired for joy. It is imperative as human beings."
    is my favorite quote from above.

    And the mantra I live by is Federico Fellini's, “You have to live spherically - in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm - and things will come your way.”
    Thank you for sharing your humanity, Ron! :))

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  32. Hello there Petra!

    Thank you :) I had so much fun taking these pictures and putting this post together.

    "“You have to live spherically - in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm - and things will come your way.”"

    I LOVE that quote!!!! And the first time I ever heard it was in the movie, "Under The Tuscan Sun", with Diane Lane. Oh, what a great film!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Wednesday!
    X

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  33. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS POST RON!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!! And your pictures with your new camera are amazing. Just so amazing!!!!! The girl with water going up her mouth.... the awesome grown up playing... you captured so much. My favorite is the boy looking down at the water. A penny for his thoughts.

    I tell my children I will never grow up and they always say I better not. NEVER!

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  34. "The girl with water going up her mouth.."

    Isn't she adorable, Katherine? I took about three shot so her and that was the only one that didn't come out blurry.

    "My favorite is the boy looking down at the water. A penny for his thoughts."

    Don't you just love his curious expression?

    "I tell my children I will never grow up and they always say I better not. NEVER!"



    AMEN, my friend! You and me BOTH!


    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  35. Geraldine H.June 12, 2015

    What a wonderful, happy post Ron!


    And how great to see kids OUTSIDE, actually playing in the sunshine, exercising, getting wet...smiling and not hooked up to some gadget, indoors. I see waaaay to much of the latter, lately.


    Great photos, as always. Wow, you and that new camera are really clicking. ;-)


    this post also brought to mind some wonderful memories for me. Going to the beach, the pool, running through sprinklers...almost every summer day, as a kid and a teenager. We were never indoors during the summer, if we could be outside. And I had one (only slightly) overweight friend then, most of my pals were very slim and trim, as I was.


    Another sad thing now, to see so many overweight children and teens. I hope there is a movement towards getting kids outside more. I know "let's move" in the US was a program to try to do just that. Hopefully that's continued.


    have a fab weekend. finally cooling down here tonight, it's been so hot in BC! I've been wilting. LOL. Hope your weather is good there in PA.

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  36. "smiling and not hooked up to some gadget, indoors. I see waaaay to much of the latter, lately."

    I so agree with you, Geraldine! A lot of children (even at an early age) are so involved with technical gadgets. Nowadays, most children know more about computers, phones, and iPads than I do!

    "Going to the beach, the pool, running through sprinklers...almost every summer day, as a kid and a teenager. We were never indoors during the summer, if we could be outside."

    Yes, same memories for me too! Once summertime hit, all you ever wanted to do was be outside; enjoying the weather.

    "finally cooling down here tonight, it's been so hot in BC! I've been wilting. LOL. Hope your weather is good there in PA."



    Lately, it's been the opposite in PA. We've had unusually cooler weather for this time of the year. However, yesterday when I left work, the temperatures went sky high and so did the humidity. I have a feeling July is going to be a very hot month.


    Have a great weekend, my friend!
    X

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  37. What a fantastic post! I agree we all lose our ability to play as we get older. And inhibitions?! Wow, we have so many as adults, don't we? I love to watch Peanut when she is imagining. Love all the quotes you used. They are perfect with those wonderful photos!

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  38. Hello there Lisa!

    Yes, you're right, we do acquire more inhibitions as we become adults and sometimes lose that sense of imagination.

    " I love to watch Peanut when she is imagining."

    And it bet it's wonderful to watch too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific weekend!
    X

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  39. benzekneesJune 15, 2015

    Love to watch children at play!

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  40. Me too, Benze!


    :)

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