• Children think and talk about play frequently and this is the primary focus of their daily lives.
• Children need large blocks of uninterrupted time in order to experiment with materials, develop play scenarios.
• Children find peace, solace and healing in play by themselves and with others.
• In play children often function at a higher cognitive level.
• Children enjoy small, cozy, cubby-hole like hidden spaces to play in.
• Play can be a minefield; it is not always easy to enter play with other children and do so successfully.
• Children enact their own cultural experiences, enact the culture of peers and reinvent/explore culture in their play.
• Children often invite playful adults into their play as co-authors and co-players.
• While adults primarily use talk to communicate, children are multi-vocal and use vocalizations, gestures, movement, singing and dance as they playfully communicate.
• Children understand the communications of each other during play while adults are often baffled.
• Children find play to be a spiritual and holy place and express this in their silences and reflections.
• Children express feelings and provide empathy to others in play.
• Play promotes wellness and healing as children disburse tensions in their play.
• Playing in unstructured ways is a place of joy for children.
• Children have their own distinctly unique and shifting play styles, patterns, vocal habits and ways of playing.
• There is no “right way” to play.
• Children are capable of solving their own problems during play.
• Play is a platform for identity-making as children try on roles and explore and experiment.
• When adults play alongside children the children reveal their meaning-making.
• Children communicate empathy, tenderness, intimacy, sharing and human connection in play.
• Children have agency and are empowered in play; one of the few places they have this freedom.
• Popular culture including movies, computer games, stories read is appropriated in play.
• Children enjoy the creative flexibility of moving props from one play centre to another.
• Children need to move in order to learn.
• Children do not always use play materials in expected ways and their thinking is often divergent and surprising.
• The quality of the adult-child relationship is fundamental to the learning process.
• Children would rather “play” with adults and not have adult learning agendas integrated into their spontaneous play.
• Playful adults inspire playful children.
(As revealed by the children at Learning Tree Preschool, 2008-09)
Robin Adeney passed this along to me. I think it is a good reminder of why play is important for children and adults. Have a playful day!
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- Karen Wallace
- Karen Wallace M.Ed. BCATR is an art therapist, artist, and art instructor living and working in Regina SK. Canada. She has a private practice with adults and children and specializes in depression, trauma, life transition and abuse work. She facilitates art therapy, creativity and art groups. She teaches internationally. She shows her mixed media art in galleries in Regina, Victoria B.C. and the Gulf Islands. Karen is known for her enthusiastic and dynamic teaching style. Her workshops are rich, playful and creative. Karen’s art work is a reflection of her art therapy work. She expresses her love of nature, her practice of Buddhism and her family in her art. Web site: www.islandnet.com/~kwallace