Amazing with all the research in the world a majority of the school systems still have an emphasis on academic learning and not experimental learning which is learning by play, experiences and just fun.
With children’s school timetable from 4-5years are structured, maths, english, language/s, sport and hardly any art or music. With 1 hr of free play a day… What is our school system looking at creating?
First of all lets look at what ‘play is defined as from an academic perspective’
Play is self control and self directed free time where a child has the freedom to use their imagination.
My questions to parents guardians and teachers would be
– Do your children play, in an unstructured play not an extra curricular activity or dance lesson.
– Do they have time to play with all the extra curricular activities?
– How can you encourage play?
4 easy ways to encourage your child to play.
– Sit with them, without giving instructions just build with the blocks, match the colours or just push cars or dress a doll. Then see the reaction of your child you will find most children will want to join in.
– Take them for a walk and talk about what is around them, clear their mind of structured activities.
– If your child is struggling to play by themself set up a scene like a zoo with cars & animals or a dolly hospital. Ask them questions about what they can see.
-Look at your schedule allow your child time for unstructured activities to play, limit screen time and allow your child to play.
You will find the more they use their imagination, play activities will evolve. Then they will carry on without your help.
Most importantly as parents, teachers and guardians give them free time to play.
At first they may complain about being bored, however the most creative thoughts come when we stop and look what’s around us.