Remember play

    No Play, no learning —– Know Play, Know learning. 

  The above is  a tag line from a blog called irresistible ideas – for play-based play. 

 This “play” on words speaks genuinely to the way in which authentic learning takes place for children. Play for children is their work, their job and through play experiences, learning flourishes.

That’s why it’s so important to appreciate the significance of providing time, space,  raw, recycled junk materials and the outside natural world for our children to investigate and learn through personal exploration.

Too often once our children head off to preschool and elementary school, we feel, well…the learning’s taken care of now.

But so many of the play experiences and hands-on learning activities that were once a part of preschool and the early grades have been replaced by more emphasis on formal academic instruction and technology.  In order for children to benefit from these kinds of experiences, however, they still need the time to reflect, internalize, discover and play with this new information in their own original, concrete way.

Offering open-ended time for children to create and pretend on their own and with friends and siblings will stimulate their learning process, understanding  and comprehension as well as sharpening their ability to communicate with others.    

Encouraging free outdoor playtime and allowing  simple creative opportunities to happen is paramount in increasing children’s confidence, curiosity, adaptability, appreciation while also relieving stress and tension that often leads to behavior issues.

I’m thrilled that Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods : Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” will be speaking at Viterbo”s D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership fall lecture series.  This free event is on September 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Viterbo University.   I imagine this will be a very popular event and seating is limited.

So if you can – come hear from the expert about the restorative powers nature holds for all of us and the risk our children may face if we allow this gift to slip away.

 

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