The curriculum in schools and kids’ lifestyles outside of school seem to be getting busier, fuller and faster! As adults the time to ‘play’ has to be actively sought after or it wont happen!
For my birthday this year, a gorgeous friend of mine gave me a subscription to a very interesting quarterly magazine “Dumbo feather – conversations with extraordinary people”. Today was the day for it to arrive in my letter box and the first article ‘The lost art of play’ has bumbled around in my head for hours! In this blog I am going to direct quote the parts that challenged me – as an educationalist, a parent and an adult who I know should be playing more!! May they challenge you too!
..It (play) teaches us to be optimistic, flexible and social. Yet when we grow up, it seems to almost disappear from our lives.
We forget to make a mess, to dress up, to make things from egg cartons and shoeboxes – to create when we know we might fail.
But we are hardwired to play, and we haven’t been coping without it. Play is the foundation for intimacy, cooperation, creativity and resilience. It is essential to our mental health.
We can’t play where there is judgement, so we will have to ignore our egos. Let’s try to remember what gave us joy as fearless children. Did you love to sing, to dance, to build? When is the last time you felt free, light, lost in a story? Disappearing into the make-believe can nourish our brains and hearts and inspire a world of possibility.
(Page 12 Issue 36 Dumbo Feather)
In our schools are we giving opportunity for kids to play? What happens to egg cartons and paint in the older classes?
In our homes are we happy to have the kids make a mess while they play with sand and water? How do we cope with play dough in the carpets?
As a teacher what play activity can you build in today? As an adult what play activity can you build in for yourself?