The merry-go-round is more than fun, more than an easy distraction for a toddler between 2 and 9 years old. For children it evokes many new situations, countries and adventures… Going to the merry-go-round provokes new sensations which are quite similar to those the child experiences when playing dress-up. This is why you should never prevent your child from taking a ride at the merry-go-round, especially when he is asking for.
First of all the merry-go-round is a real small and short adventure. Adventure is what it evokes at first! Does your child want to ride an Indian elephant to play explorer or an old-fashioned airplane to feel like a vintage master pilot?
Pay attention to the vehicle your child chooses when driving to the ride. It tells a lot about his desires and his character. Does he simply choose the big rocking chair or is he looking for something much more technical as the airplane making noise and sounds, that goes up and down?
Again, it’s all about the imagination. Little girls are very fond of horses decorated in the Arabian Nights style. The boys, instead, choose the good old cowboy horse.
Now let’s see the values your child learns when you take them for a ride at the carousel:
First of all he knows that he is going to live a very joyful adventure and that this joy, this emotion of joy acts on him as a reward would. A reward is a time-limited joy just as the carousel. When he is on the merry-go-round your child lives in full consciousness, in the present time.
Then he knows that the merry-go-round is a paying distraction. He understands that his parents offer him this moment of pleasure. Now he knows how to understand that we can offer something other than material things: we can offer the other quality time and that is very important. A child even if he loves gifts still needs quality time with his parents.
Thanks to the merry-go-round your child works on his abilities to imagine situations and visualize landscapes. He doesn’t go back home with the only image of the merry-go-round in his head. He will remember all of the universe he built around!
Finally, the merry-go-round is a party outside of real time. The merry-go-round is a party in itself. It doesn’t matter if the weather or the mood isn’t festive. When a little one sets foot on a carousel he knows that the party time has begun. It therefore includes another value: it is you and only you who decides when you are at the party, in other words it is possible to be positive even when there is nothing festive around. What matters is how we choose to be inside. These are the great lessons the carousel teaches us!
Going to the merry-go-round is also going round like the earth. It is to be part of a small universe. It teaches the child to participate in a world of joy and beauty.
On a child’s scale, going on a merry-go-round is a bit like going places around the world!