The Importance of Play Series - Part 1
by Laura Venezia, Head of School at Woodland Montessori Academy
“When are they going to start learning?” A question so often asked in the early childhood setting. A question that will be explored over the course of this Importance of Play series.
In order to truly set the stage, you need to go back to your own childhood. Close your eyes and think about your happiest or most profound memories as a child. Now consider what you were doing. There is a very strong chance that the memory you recalled involved a play experience. Play is typically how we define childhood, but so often, we discount the countless benefits of pure, uninterrupted play.
As adults, so many have lost our sense of wonder, excitement and imagination. When faced with a play experience we often feel an overwhelming sense of awkwardness and uncertainty of ‘how to start’. To no fault of any one person or thing, we gradually lose our ability to think like a child and therefore are unable to see the world through the eyes of a child. Where wonder and possibilities are uninhibited, where a simple block can transform into endless possibilities, where imagination has no limits.
During this series, we will look at different play experiences and explore the learning that is happening behind the scenes. You will see how uninterrupted play experiences building children’s resilience, social and emotional health, literacy and numeracy, social skills and collaboration.
Play is the foundation of childhood and is paramount in early childhood education settings. Once the learning becomes visible, the importance of play can not be ignored.