And never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we would have to defend children’s right to play. Nancy Carlsson-Paige
You and me both Nancy Carlsson-Paige.
And yet with every passing year we see the push down effect of academic learning and structured programs, heralding the reduction of choice and uninterrupted play in early childhood programs.
If we are to defend the place of play in our early childhood programs, we need to be really, really effective at describing play in action and explaining its value for children’s learning.
If we are to defend the place of play in our early childhood programs, we need to be knowledgeable about how to maximise children's learning through play. And to share this with families, confidently and often.
If we are to defend the place of play in our early childhood programs, we need to use this knowledge to document and assess children's learning, and to be very intentional in creating learning environments where children's play can flourish. And to share this with families confidently, and often.
Parents only want the best for their child. So let's do our best to show parents that the best for their child is a childhood filled with play, in environments carefully planned and respectfully prepared by supportive and responsive educators who are good at what they do.
Talk about play. Write about it, describe it, document it, give specific examples about the benefits of play, share the play greats of early childhood. Support your educators in becoming confident and informed professionals who can stand firm in their knowledge and beliefs, and be proudly accountable for their practice.
Marinate families in the benefits of play.
Be the voice, go forth and fly the play flag!