Friday, May 20, 2005

In Support of Play

Expert sees value in child's play
School mandates cutting into time for students' fun

"'Play speaks to creativity and playfulness. It comes with an attitude that this is interesting, enjoyable and centered around the children's interests,' said William Strader, professor and director of Mitchell College's Institute for Early Childhood Teaching and Learning in New London.

Play has a role in all areas of a child's development — emotional, social, linguistic, motoristic, cognitive and even values, he said.

Strader said children who choose their play activity, learn easily because they are interested in the subject.

'We have wonderful research in the field of early childhood research that shows that children are active participants in their own development. They want to explore and master their own environment,' Klein said."


Andrew, my five-year-old student, learns about mathematics strictly through play. Using beans and other manipulatives, he has discovered the basics of arithmetic, fractions, and types of numbers (even versus odd, etc.). Already, I can see that he has a very solid understanding of numbers at such a young age.

This discovery time fosters real understanding of math concepts and promotes healthy feelings about math. He clearly views math as fun, rewarding, and challenging!