Importance of Play in Engagement

“Look Ma what I did!” One of Katie’s products while doing self-directed play.

With 2 masteral courses, 1 certificate course and a dutch language course all being done at the same time, life can be pretty much a juggle in our household. So instead of putting in a new post regarding some of my thoughts I decided for this month to start on just sharing posts from my favorites on the topic of play.

Why play you might ask?

When have you seen your child/student the most engrossed in that he/she seems to be too caught up in the moment to bother about time? Playtime opportunities that get children so engaged are important but do we really get to give them that experience at home or in school? Perhaps the best way to plan for engaged playtime is to first understand what play is for children.

Before reading on what play is, how about reflecting on the following questions first:

a. what are your treasured memories as a child?

b. in what situation/context are these memories in? time, place, people?

c. why are these events special for you?

As an adult reflecting on these questions, I often reminisce of the time when I am thoroughly engaged with activities with our neighbors playing with sand, leaves and anything we can get our hands on at that time and adding it to our “kitchen” which was just some old pots and pans and wooden sticks and plastic plates. I also think about the special time I have with my grandmother when she took us to the playground. As an adult, I don’t like heights, but the memory of her pushing the swing as I go higher and higher is such a warm experience, like having a blanket on a cold winter night. Yes, these are how these memories feel- leaving you with a fuzzy feeling, sometimes giddy even that makes you want to just sit back and remember.

Perhaps we might not really understand the importance of play as it develops the neurons of the brain or how crucial it is in language acquisition, but at one point in our lives or another, we have been witnesses to the power of play in leaving us with good memories that are far lasting and moving that we would wish the same to our children.

And I said, I didn’t want to add my thoughts in this post 🙂

Anyway for those who want to know more about play, here’s an easy to read site that talks about The Role of Play and the Developmental Stages of Play. For those wanting to read more on children’s play, the Child Development Institute offers essential information on Play is the Work of the Child and be sure to check out their list of 10 Toys Great for Keeping Your Child’s Attention.

Mommies who are contemplating on why do children play the way they do should read this very interesting piece on The Urge to Play by Mamas in the Making. I’m sure you’ll like the information and for moms with babies be sure to check out Learning About Life: play, movement, struggle and fun.

I’ll definite post more about schemas next time!

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