I love watching children out on the playground this time of year. I always find it fascinating to try to determine their various energetic types by watching them at play. Of course most primary aged children are in the “fire stage” of development, so they play collaboratively and competitively. Their actions always have fiery overtones, but their underlying, unique energetic style is usually still quite obvious.
The earthy types like to play games that are very structured within a strong framework of rules. They like digging and playing in the dirt or bark chips. They often want to build forts, climb on jungle gyms or play structures. They are inclined to follow the rules of the playground and are more than willing to tattle on those who are not following the rules. The watery types move all over the playground, flowing easily from one activity to the next. They usually form small groups of two or three and are seen putting their heads together, connecting, conspiring, chatting. They like the swings and the slides best. The fiery types like intense competitive sports and are probably involved in a game of football, dodgeball or tag. They often need coaching and intervention, for their fiery natures and “need to win”can sometimes provoke disagreements with peers. The airy types like to run, run, run and are not so concerned about winning or losing as long as they can move. They are apt to forget the rules or become easily distracted by other playground dramas. Airy types easily frustrate fellow players who lose patience with their easy going, nonchalance. These types love to swing high in the swing and shoot down the slide head first. The ether types are often less athletically focused. They are as content playing some solitary game as they are playing with others. Ether types “stay in their heads,” are logical and like intellectual stimulation. They enjoy a good architectural or engineering challenge, so will collaborate with the earthy types as they build forts, roadways or other structures. They love math and often interject their mathematical understanding into their play. Many children, many energetic types, many playing styles, and if allowed to be who they inherently are…..much joy!