I truly believe that play is the work of childhood. Play isn’t just fun; play is learning.
Play shouldn’t just take the form of “free time” on a Friday afternoon.
Neither should play only take place on the playground. https://ateacherislikeacandle.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/the-muddier-the-better/
A crucial role of teachers, and particularly early childhood teachers, is to model and to promote play in their classrooms.
In my classroom, I model play by being silly every now and again. I act, I dramatise, I pull funny faces.
I also incorporate humour. I tell funny stories and encourage laughter at least once a day.
When I put GoNoodle on the SmartBoard to give the class a movement brain break, I sometimes join in.
On free dress days, I dress up too.
During social skills lessons, I get kids to role play.
I wink at kids, I joke, I muck around. And I make times in the week when my students can do the same.
During art lessons, I don’t always dictate what to do and how. I let students take the reins and let their creative juices flow.
I make time for unstructured play and give children interesting toys and objects to provoke their play discussions.
Of course, it can’t always be fun and games. There are times when we have to be serious and we have to focus.
But, in my experience, a class that’s given time for play maintain their attention on challenging learning tasks longer than a class that’s not.
And adults need play too.
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