Time For Play
A quality early childhood program will have play at the heart of it. Do you allow time for play? Not just a time to play but a time FOR play.
When there is time you will notice children hit another level of creativity. When time is given they will initiate play that almost feels like they are lost. They are engaged and not just busy. When there is time to play it is often directed by the teacher.
When there is time for play it is directed by the children themselves.
How to allow Time For Play
Observing children is absolutely critical. Don’t be afraid to just observe and write! So often you (I) can feel like you have to be doing and “busy” with the children doing something! Watch and see the direction the students want to go in. It is when you observe that you discover what is happening so you can make changes and teach from play. Learning is so much more meaningful this way!
Be available to get resources and show children where resources can be found for their play. Be open to their suggestions. Provide feathers to stick on plastic blocks! Little things count and matter. By saying yes to play your are empowering children, you help them to feel validated and secure! You allow them to be creative. You encourage creativity and not hinder it.
Peacock – Just Blocks and Feathers you say 🙂
Conversations that occur can spark play. I love listening to children who are engrossed in play unaware of the world watching! These are the precious moments of childhood caught in time! Listen and then see if you can add to play and make their play ideas come alive further.
Opportunity for Feedback
Involve children in giving feedback. Ask the children what they would like to learn about. What areas they would like in the classroom. How would they like the outdoor area? Record the feedback with what they say and add photos and journalling to it! It can provide a wonderful stimulus and conversation and memory of the playful things you did!