Play! So what is it all about?
The Oxford Dictionary says 'to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.'
I prefer the definition given by Play Scotland 'Play is the universal language of childhood.
It is through play that children understand each other and make sense of the world around them.'
This week I heard a great definition from a little boy I was working with "its what I do when mums not telling me what to do" (although I'm sure Mum could be replaced with dad, nursery, school etc)
So how much time do your children really spend playing, using their imagination in a way they choose?
If they are in nursery or at a childminders I would hope it's a good proportion of their day, if they are at school well it depends on the school. But at home with clubs, homework, TV, Ipads, computers, family commitments and more it can be difficult to find the time, lives now are so busy including those of our children.
Just spending an extra half an hour playing, really playing can make huge differences to your child's development, you don't even need to provide toys! Just the opportunity to be, do and imagine.
Think back to when you were a child did you?
Make dens, camp out in the garden or living room, find worms, make perfume from petals, make mud pies, 'cooked' with dried pasta, have a teddies picnic, grow cress, build nests from things you found, roll down grassy banks, go exploring out on your bike, turn your bedroom into a hideout, and so much more!
Do your children?
Yes the world may be a lot different now but could your children still gain similar experiences?
Often the memories we hold as we grow are the simplest ones, often the best play and development starts from nothing.
Take what that little boy said to me and use it. Stop telling them where they should be and what they should be doing and let them play, imagine, do, be and develop -for some of the time at least 🙂
At Families In Sync we are breaking through play barriers and would love for you to join us!
We are working with several schools to develop more time for learning through free play sessions.
We are extending our educational resources further at the moment they are based around sensory development and speech and language development, but we have more arriving soon!
Our play sessions for parents and carers are amazing these workshops give you the opportunity to take ideas and resources home, showing you how easily and cheaply some of the most rewarding play can be triggered.
We are continuing to offer our unique professional development workshops to nursery teams and childminders helping them become even more amazing!
Play,true play as we know it is disappearing, think back to your childhood play again, isn't that the memory we would all like our children to have? Isn't that how you would like your child to learn.
Play is what has always underpinned children's development and learning this should be embraced and encouraged.