Une bonne idée – A good idea

Ed’s note – This post is from my second blog – Ta daaa – 180 Days of Magic written ten years ago during a six-month parental leave. I stumbled across it tonight as I was doing some digital dusting.

It struck me that ‘good ideas’  are frequently the raw ingredients that kids bring to independent play. Granted a few bad ideas slip through on occasion but it’s the good ones that have legs and get passed on.

In all, I was fortunate enough to take two parental leaves. They were by far and away the greatest gifts I ever received from my employer. I hope you enjoy this little riff. If you are a parent, a caregiver, a playworker, an educator you are undoubtedly familiar with the joyful abundance of kid-generated good ideas.

Apparently I was numerically challenged when this was written as I am counting four not five examples of good ideas…..


Une bonne idée – a good idea – appeared on the scene within the last 3 weeks. It’s an expression that has become quite au courant in our household. Noah-David has generated sufficient bonnes idées within the last couple of weeks to single-handedly fuel several editions of the Nobel prizes.

Frequently, the good ideas being churned out of our son’s playful idea factory are qualified by one, or multiple “verys”. This is quite useful in helping to determine Noah’s doggedness and tenacity as a young creator in pursuing said bonnes ideés. Like elsewhere in life ideas come and go but usually the very, very, very, very good ones are here to stay.

These good ideas speak to a pick up in tempo in Noah’s cognitive abilities. Language acquisition is accelerating again much as I wrote about last August in “Frog’s Out of the Box – Random Passages”. Now the building blocks are small sentences and the architecture is becoming simultaneously more solid and complex, exploring and creating more frequently in the conceptual world.

The good ideas come in 2 broad and sometimes linked categories. The first consists of those ideas that require maman, or papa to play with, or set up play for, Noah-David – bubbles for instance are always a good idea.

The second category is ideas as a bridging mechanism – a means to move from an undesirable situation to one that is more palatable. Examples would include “good ideas” that would be instrumental in delaying nap or bedtime or getting dismissed from the dinner table without having finished the meal. These ideas generally present an alternate, substitute activity and often are not quite as brilliant as our young Einstein may have thought.

June 7 – First Five Good Ideas (posted as they’re presented to us)

  1. At 9h30 this morning the good idea was to have papa and maman drive papa’s 17-year-old daughter to work but beforehand to take out his dumptruck and some other favourite toys. He would stay behind to look after Nellie. This was an alternative to him accompanying papa for the drive.
  2. Just before lunch Noah-David got a little pee spot on the front of his pants. Instead of clothes change his good idea was to lie on the home office’s carpeted floor in a pool of sunshine to dry the wet spot and then head outside again to play.
  3. Early evening out in the backyard the good idea is, a ball for Noah, a ball for me – we sit up on the upper deck and roll the balls down the ramp to the lower deck. The ball that goes the farthest wins.
  4. Just a bit later than the previous good idea. This time we hide and scare maman and Nellie-Rose when they come back from the groceries. We make our hideout crouched down behind one end of the front porch and lazily watch the world go by on the street. A good idea indeed but we were unable to maintain the element of surprise as it kind of leaked out in a constant, barely muffled belly jiggle giggle as soon as maman shut the car door.

The ultimate affirmation from Noah indicating we have a meeting of the minds is when he looks up at me with his beautiful, brown eyes and says in either a confidential, or an excited tone, depending on the occasion – papa, c’est une très bonne idée. I affirm Noah a lot in his presentation of good ideas just as my parents did with me. Good ideas are an exciting development for our lad and although their frequency may vary over the years, it’s great to know they’re here to stay.

Postscript – Noah continues to have ‘good ideas’ at a very respectable pace – they’re related to sports, adventure, discovery, building self-made structures and sometimes even, school.

From the PlayGroundology post, Fort Summer

2 responses to “Une bonne idée – A good idea

  1. Such an awesome article! Independent and adventurous playtime is necessary in the development of every child. It instills self-confidence and helps developing physical abilities. These are also the earliest memories that a child will cherish throughout lifetime.


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