A friend posted this on Facebook and I thought it had a great message about the importance of play.
Working in a school where many of the students are new to Canada and new to a school type setting, making time for play is essential. I used to get annoyed when people would remark after I told them I teach kindergarten “oh, so you just play all day”. I still get a little irked, but only because they don’t realize the benefits of play! Besides the social/emotional development that takes place during play (and learning to problem solve!) there is spatial awareness, gross and fine motor development, there is planning and follow through with a plan, there is using a creative mine to turn a cardboard block into a computer, there is artistic development, math in sorting and patterning toys and art supplies, there is SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!!!
My provincial government came out last year with a revised version of a Kindergarten play curriculum. It is a beast of a document…400+ pages. But it is amazing! It goes through, in detail, why play is important for K students and then how you can use play to meet your curricular goals. It breaks my heart when I see K classrooms with no play…
Is my day all play? No. I still do a calendar/morning meeting with my Kindersmartens. I still take time to do whole class lessons and small centre work. BUT, after reading that document (I didn’t read the whole thing…I means it’s over 400 pages, but I read the majority of it!) I made myself the goal of having an hour of play a day. It will be a challenge on certain days – like the day I have 3 specialists (30 minutes each), but I’m going to do my best!
SO! If you’re looking for a well researched document about the benefits of play and how to integrate play into your day – I highly recommend looking at “A Time for Learning, A Time for Joy”. http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/childhood/time_for_joy/full_doc.pdf
I feel like I should add that this is NOT a paid endorsement – I just really believe in this document and sharing is caring! Especially because the document is FREE!