Play is trending. FB games — phone game apps — Pokemon GO — brain train.

We all want our kids to be happy, and to grow and to learn. I grew up playing games — often with my Grandmother; card games, board games, and Chinese checkers; and outdoor games like tag and hide-and-seek. I want to find a few games to enjoy playing now! Crossword puzzles and Sudoku and then some . . . .

I once taught in a pilot program for preschool children. I drove all over Henry County, Tennessee, with a lending-library in the trunk of my car — games and books and toys and puzzles and music. Over a four-year period, I taught six school-based groups and visited over 200 homes. I showed parents how to use the materials and how to teach their own children; I “assigned” games to be played and books to be read — until I came back. One of the best parts was watching parents play games with us. They were always so proud when their kids did well, when their kids won! One Grandpa actually got teary-eyed when he watched his little one winning games, and learning skills. Each time I came, he could hardly wait to show me what the little boy had mastered since my last visit.

U.S. Representative George Dorsey got it right: “Play is the beginning of knowledge.”