If I told you I had a way to make tomorrow’s citizens cooperative, able to make decisions and solve problems in peaceful ways, better communicators and more creative with a better understanding of the world would you be interested in knowing how to do that?
The answer is simple… play. Specifically, dramatic play. What I’ve described above is exactly what dramatic play does for children. Yes, I’m up on my soapbox again!
You may be wondering how to support children’s play?
All adults need to do is to provide the time and the materials.
So when you’re thinking about scheduling your child in a zillion after school activities, think about how much time they will actually have left to play and pare down on the after school extras. Or if you’re a teacher planning your timetable, make some time for play in the day and trust that children will be learning during that time. After all, communication, problem-solving and decision making are all part of the curriculum!
In terms of materials, bottle tops, buttons and boxes all make great play materials and with little or no cost. Or go outside where children have access to sand, grass, water, rocks, sticks, mud, trees and leaves. Scarves and scraps of fabric are great for supporting dramatic play too. The possibilities are endless.
Read more about play research. Try this book…
I’ll leave you with a quote:
Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity. -Kay Redfield Jamison