Play.....the work of children!
Have you ever considered the purpose of play? It’s not just children running around enjoying themselves or simply mucking around. Play is actually the work of children. So what are they actually doing?
The Early Years Learning Framework tells us that “play provides the opportunity for children to learn as they “discover, create, improvise and imagine”. It also tells us that “when children play with other children they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play also provides an environment where children are supported to ask questions, solve problems and develop the ability to think critically as well as build a love of learning.
Play also provides the opportunity for children to develop the life skills they need such as the language and communication skills that will allow them to negotiate, engage in social interactions that are caring about others and the environment, be assertive in an appropriate manner, build confidence, be a leader and a follower (and know when each is appropriate) and to take risks in a supportive environment. Play also helps with physical growth and development. Most importantly the freedom to play helps a child to build trust and to feel loved, happy and safe.
This is exactly what we see when we watch the children at play when they are at Kindy. Our interventions and provocations are based on how we can further help children with the development of these skills, grow their love of learning and help them to realise just what it is they know.
And you thought that they were just playing ??????