Page 2 - MidWeek - Apr 7, 2021
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         2 MIDWEEK APRIL 7, 2021
        The Power Of Play
  I“The power of imagination makes us infinite.” — John Muir
Imaginative play helps children understand the world around them. It also teaches them empathy, courage and compassion.
  love watching my 4-year- old daughter discover the world from our family
  AShots, Lots And Slots
few unconnected things to ponder today ...
room carpet. Always curious and confident, she can dive into exuberant play at any given moment as her imagi- nation soars.
A strange phenomenon is unfolding right before our
Jumping off our sofa and flapping her arms, my daughter loves to practice her flying. Feet touching down, she informs me that today she is a bird. Yester- day, she was Wonder Woman zooming through the house in her magic cape, joyously helping and saving people in her vivid imagination. Don- ning a child-sized lab coat, she greets her next patient, gently welcoming them and asking what is wrong. She says, “I am going to make people feel better.”
by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain opti- mistic.”
eyes. While parking spaces seem to be ever shrink- ing and parking lots appear to be adding “compact car only” signs regularly, the actual car-buying habits of local folks are going in the opposite direction. Yep, wider bodies.
And just as important- ly, simply through play my daughter has learned empa- thy, courage and compassion. These treasured outcomes will serve her well as she con- tinues to navigate her journey through life.
According to Hawai‘i Automobile Dealers Association’s 2020 figures, the small-car market share has fallen by 8% since 2017. The share of cars purchased in 2020 was just 31%, while light trucks (including pickups, SUVs and vans) is now at 69%. Perhaps spaces should be marked “contact” instead of “compact,” because the wiggle room to get in and out of one’s vehicle (especially after account- ing for the average 2020 coronavirus weight gains men- tioned here last week) is becoming nonexistent ...
venture; she is curious and empathetic to animals. In her Wonder Woman cape, she is capable of helping others and beginning to understand the impacts of doing good. And when she plays the role of doctor, she is able to make sense of an intimidating ex- perience through creative role reversal.
search shows that play can promote social-emotional learning, enhance creativity and well-being, and so much more.
I was fortunate enough to get my vaccine from Hawai‘i Pacific Health recently at Pier 2. The experience was quick, organized, calm, professional, efficient, informative and angst-free. There were volunteers, orange-flag wavers, parking lot attendees and pleasant check-in assistants. I’ve heard similar stories about other vaccination sites like Windward Health Center and The Queen’s Medical Center. To stem the tide against yet another resurgence, we need to keep the crowds coming.
Because in our imagina- tions we can be anyone and anything.
Imagination is a precursor to understanding the world and building confidence and creativity. In role-play, chil- dren begin to create, tell their own stories, and express their ideas and feelings, which are real and powerful. Re-
And it was in witnessing this that my own imagina- tion was ignited to create an online children’s costume company and share the gift of imaginative play with more children.
Natalie Parker Smith is the creator of Snickerdoos, a children’s costume company designed to enhance creativ- ity and joy and contribute to the growth of empathy and compassion through pretend play and role-playing.
Chasing The Light is pro- duced by Robin Stephens Rohr and Lynne Johnson.
We also need to go deeper into the hinterlands to vac- cinate those who can’t or won’t come to designated sites as we work harder to attract the disproportionate, under- served communities and those still skeptical and/or disen- franchised. As of late March, Hawai‘i had vaccinated the eighth most adults of any state, per capita. We haven’t won yet — not even close, with about 70% of adults still not ful- ly inoculated here. But safeguarding Hawai‘i’s population efficiently will reap big benefits for businesses, consumers, doubters, our species and our collective psyche. Kudos to the ‘vid vanquishing valiant vaccinators ...
Through her love of imag-
Stuart Brown is a psychi- atrist and founder of the Na- tional Institute for Play. He explains in his book Play, “Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it’s the very means
inative play, my daughter takes on new identities and explores new curiosities. As a bird she embraces ad-
New Century Schoolbook bold (scaled H 73.6)
              Finally, as is apparently my annual destiny, I moved quickly into the “L” bracket with my NCAA basketball picks. You know? The “losers.” I thought Illinois looked great down the stretch, but unfortunately, “Fighting Illini” was an oxymoron, as they put the “ill” in Illinois by bow- ing out meekly. Yet, I have a shot at redemption with my NCAA men’s ice hockey picks — the so-called Frozen Four. My basketball air balls did make various, competitive family members quite happy. Good for them!
           They’re out of my will, though. Think about it ...
with Natalie Parker Smith

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