Sunday, March 5, 2017

Let the Babies Play

There's a new kid on the block.  Or baby, to be precise.

Let the Children Play has branched off to form Let the Babies Play, a Facebook page with a mission to:

Shine the light on infants and toddlers as the phenomenal learners, scientists, communicators, relationship builders, intrepid explorers of the world and uniquely individual human beings that we now know them to be.

Why a new page just for babies?

The first three years of a child's life are are unique:
  • They are the most critical years in shaping the brain's architecture.   
  • They are the foundation that shapes children's future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general.
  • Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life.
Unique years deserve a unique page!

If you are a parent or educator of infants and toddlers then I invite you to hop on over and have a look:

Monday, August 8, 2016

Unexpected loose parts for play

I was out walking today with the very lovely Juliet Robertson from Creative Star Learning who is in town sharing her passion and expertise with educators around Australia.

We started talking loose parts, as you do.

I was reminded of a red and blue plastic slide that we had at my old preschool.  It is one you see in backyards all over the place, and I always felt that being plastic and a bit naff it was out of place in our natural setting.  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Why I love what I do

Long time readers of Let the Children Play will be familiar with the big themes in my professional life:  Progressive education, loose parts for play, outdoor play - preferably in natural settings, creating environments for play and more recently respectful education and care for infants, inspired by Magda Gerber's educaring (r) approach.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Passive toys make active learners

Long time readers of this blog will know that I have long been a fan of the theory of loose parts.  

My experience at a preschool rich in loose parts showed me that children's play is enriched in ways almost too many to list when children have time, freedom and access to an array of interesting, opened ended materials both indoors and outdoors.  Loose parts are, quite simply, the essential raw ingredients for creative and imaginative play.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Be the Spark that Ignites the Flame

Emmi Pikler ignited a flame that changed the lives of the young children at Loczy, a home for children in Budapest, and continues to inspire parents and educators to this day.  

Light years ahead of  her time, Pikler understood just how important the relationship between infant and carer, the care moments, free movement, self initiated play choices and uninterrupted play time were to a child's healthy development and wellbeing.  

Source:  The Pikler Collection

Magda Gerber, mentored by Emmi Pikler, traveled to Los Angeles and carried the flame with her.  Gerber's Educaring® Approach incorporates:

"...a deep respect and appreciation of the baby as more than a helpless object, Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach encourages infants and adults to trust each other, learn to problem solve, and embrace their ability for self-discovery. When allowed to unfold in their own way and in their own time, children discover and inspire the best in themselves and in others."
- Resources for Infant Educarers