Saturday, September 21, 2013

Let's all play together

Image by dacotahsgirl.
I have very few pictures of my son playing. Mostly because they would all be blurry.

When indoors, he creates these complex worlds that involve fast cars, things that fly and random pieces of furniture. He is up and down, hiding one moment and crawling around the next. When outside, his goal (as far as I can tell) is to run/gallop/ride/jump for as long as possible before it is time to go inside again.

It is beautiful to watch. (And I am jealous, because I really wish that I had his energy.)

So, when I read about how we are reducing children's play time over all, I get a little angry. I don't want my son to have a longer school day or to sit for long periods of time without stretching his legs (and his mind) with an impromptu game of "let's see who can pretend to be the fastest dinosaur race car." We already have lots of sources that tell us that play is a form of learning. In fact, one recent study has found that children who are physically fit are able to retain more information.

Yes, learning is complex and there are lots of different ways that people retain information. But let's let our children play. And, even better, let's play with them. Maybe all that play with our children will help us learn more, too.

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