The Importance of Play
“It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.”
The idea of play and practicing play opens up the world for not only our children but ourselves. It helps us connect to our inner children and better yet helps us relate and have those magical moments with our kids.
If you reflect back on your childhood and remember playing with your friends. What experiences did you have? How did you play, who did you play with? What types of games did you play?
What was typically your role when playing – were you a leader, follower, joker or someone else?
Did you get particularly excited and competitive or did you stare up at the sky wondering about outer space during your weekly sporting games? Were you allowed to daydream or did you get in trouble for it? Was being competitive held in high regard in your household?
Reflecting allows for the opportunity to become insightful into who you are and how you evolved.
Bringing to light how you were raised will help you guide your own children through their play and how you can promote opportunities for learning for them.
Allowing independent, non-orchestrated play is just as important as planning play dates. Kids need time to develop their creative selves and to discover worlds on their own terms.
The image above was taken by my daughter on a recent road trip – she saw these animal figures painted on some store windows and decided she wanted to take pictures of them. I reluctantly allowed her to play with my phone to take them. It brought both of us so much joy and added many happy memories from our trip.