The Power of Play for Children

1350 Words6 Pages
Thinking back on my childhood, I first remember all the times I played outside in my backyard. I would pretend to dig up dinosaur bones or create imaginary realms of ancient lands; there I would perform diplomatic services for the people in need. I was usually alone, and those are some of my fondest memories. When I first decided to become a teacher and thought about what is important to my philosophy on how children learn, I immediately knew I was a strong believer in play. Although, many decision makers such as legislators and school district leaders believe in more academic types of learning styles, my paper will discuss why play is so powerful and important to children.
The book, Exploring Your role in Early Childhood Education, defines play as, “any activity that is freely chosen, meaningful, active, enjoyable, and open-ended.”(pg. 140) Play has many positive characteristics such as freedom to explore and create. Suppose when a child enters his/her classroom and has various self-selection activities available, the child can become engaged in something of interest specifically to that individual child. The book also states, “Play is active and is natural process of mentally and actively doing something.”(pg. 140) When children can act out or explore experiences they are having hands on experience and learning by actually doing. Without knowing it, children are practicing body movements as well as mental processing though acting imaginary games out.
Engaging activities not only support different learning styles, but also bring pleasure to children, when they feel good about what they are doing they will want to do explore more, and thus the pleasure reinforces a child’s drive to continue playing/learning. Open-ended play is ...

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...e article states, “Overwhelmingly, these teachers reported that recent policy changes have hindered-not helped- their young students.” Here the article is referencing overabundance of testing and assessments in the classroom. So is the purpose here to foster creativity and individuality or to tear it down with ineffective pedagogy?
I have faith in the leaders of children, teachers, the ones that labor endlessly to guide children out of love and to nurture their learning abilities. Let’s put an end to childhood depression and phobia of school, as the book “Einstein Never Used Flash Cards” speaks out about. Allow children to be children and learn naturally through the childhood development domains educators know work. Put an end to developmentally inappropriate practices and let true beauty shine, the beauty that possesses great power and force, the power of play.
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