Friday, April 1, 2016

Can I Play with You?

One definition of play isexercise or activity for amusement or recreation
That activity may be rocking in a chair while counting rainbows on the wall, or cheering on your friends as they race around the playground, or looking at books.
The smiles on the their faces show the amusement.
Play is how children explore, learn and make sense of their world. 
Play requires children to communicate to insure a fun time. 
They learn to solve conflicts, and develop the patience to share and take turns.
Children can participate in the same activity, independently, next to each other. 
Each child can be exploring on his/her own, yet sharing an interest. 
This shared experience lays the foundation for a later friendship.
Jade: Sadie do you want to play with me?
Sadie: I'm making food for my baby rocks 
Jade: I have flowers. We can plant flowers.
Sadie: We can plant flowers for the baby rocks.
Friendships are strengthened while creativity blooms.
Olivia collected some blocks and began to create a structure. 
Both Judah and Augie were intrigued. 
Judah: Olivia can I play with you?
Olivia: Yes but I am the only one to drive the truck.
Augie: Can I play too?
Olivia: Yes but I am the only one to drive the truck.
Judah: Well ok but then what are we going to do?
Augie: Driving the truck looks fun.
Olivia: Well I was thinking of building a castle. 
Judah: Let's make the biggest castle ever.
Augie: We can build a tall archway and the truck can drive through it.
Moments that make having a multi-age classroom wonderful are found during play.
Ari: Well we are going to build something really big. Here Maia I'll put that up.
 But girls you will have to be careful because if the logs fall they will hurt because they are heavy so you will have to run away like this (and he demonstrated too quickly for the photographer)
Play is the conversation that occurs when the children work together.
Lochlan: I am the giraffe. Chomp chomp.
Sadie: I'm a giraffe too chomp chomp. Here is the rhino.
Lochlan: The lion is roaring.
While playing, the children are learning to share, to wait, to solve conflicts and are developing empathy for their classmates.  
These skills will assist them tomorrow, next year and in elementary school and beyond.

Provide a child the space to follow his interests, express her creativity and move around.  
Enjoy watching the engaged, capable, joyful person they become.

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