Saturday, April 16, 2011

Play...The Work of Childhood

The following excerpt is from The Child Development Institute's website.   

"Play Is The Work of the Child" Maria Montessori

According to Montessori, the essential dimensions of play are:
  • Voluntary, enjoyable, purposeful and spontaneous
  • Creativity expanded using problem solving skills, social skills, language skills and physical skills
  • Helps expand on new ideas
  • Helps the child to adapt socially
  • Helps to thwart emotional problems
If play is the work of the child, toys are the tools. Through toys, children learn about their world, themselves, and others. Toys teach children to:
  • Figure out how things work
  • Pick up new ideas
  • Build muscle control and strength
  • Use their imagination
  • Solve problems
  • Learn to cooperate with others

It is interesting that the importance of play as a valuable learning tool for children is often debated and even dismissed.  

This week a conversation between two students was observed by one of our teachers.  The students were carefully watering the grass they had planted the day before. 

First child says to second child "We don't have homework.  We just play."

To this the second child replied "You're learning, but you are having so much fun that you don't know it!"

If only all adults could see things as simply as our children.  

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