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Children's Amusement

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

IT would be of infinite advantage to the childhood of the world if every young woman could, in the course of her education, have at least one year in a kindergarten training school. There are women who are endowed with a marvellous spirit of maternity and who seem to know by intuition how to amuse, direct and develop their children in the best way; but such women are rare, and the majority of mothers are often at their wits' ends to find suitable amusements and occupations for their young children. In communities where kindergartens flourish the children from four to six years of age who attend them are well provided with occupations and games; these, the ready mother who is wise enough to visit the kindergarten, can in a measure adapt to home needs.

The children should be encouraged to sing the songs, repeat the stories and play the games in their home which they have learned in the kindergarten or primary grades. These often prove a source of healthful diversion for father and mother, the older brothers and sisters, as well as a means of development to the child through a use of his newly acquired power in a field outside the school.

It is interesting to an adult and helpful to a child for the former to draw forth the child's conception of things seen and heard. By this means children are taught to express what they feel and think, and are thereby saved suffering in later life through unnecessary repression. The busiest mother can learn a few stories "by heart," as the children say, and these may be told over and over again, for familiarity with a story usually increases its charm for a child ; and I believe all kindergartners are agreed that a story well told is of more vital interest and has a higher educational value than one which is read. How-ever, the great majority of mothers need not be discouraged be-cause of lack of time in which to commit stories to memory, for any really good story either told or read will receive rapt attention from eager young listeners.

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