My company participated in an event at Children’s Hospital yesterday. There were parents and kids there for a program on sickle cell anemia. Those families brought siblings and cousins with them and these other children needed to be entertained and fed while their families were going through the program. I ended up in the activity room for pre-K children; there were maybe 30 kids and 8 volunteers.
I learned that I still have the energy needed to entertain and play with a bunch of kids that age for 3 hours. We were with them for 3 and a half hours.
Some kids were very upset about being left there without their parents. I tried to comfort one little girl who was standing against the wall, crying. Next to here was a bag of children’s’ books so I figured maybe one would draw her interest and cam her down. I pulled out the biggest picture book and opened it to a two-page picture of a giant, hairy spider. Thanks for nothing, Eric Carle.
I re-learned a lesson I had forgotten about playing with kids. When the littlest one comes to you and holds his hands up, do NOT take his hands and help him bounce and jump really high. If you do it for him, every other kid will drop everything and scurry over to form a giant swarm of wiggling bodies and waving arms, shouting, “Do that for me! I’m next! Me! My turn!” and you have to lift and bounce every child in the room, over and over until you expire. And there is quite a difference between the cute, tiny, child you started with and the largest child in the room.
The kids were incredibly sweet and a joy to be with. I would do it again anytime … after my back and arm muscles and joints recover.