Have fun with play. It is a very valuable teaching tool.
Play sounds like fun, and it is fun; but it is also a child’s work, his or her major avenue for learning. Appropriate toys and valuable play have such a major impact on learning that they will affect a child’s education and development for the rest of his or her life.
Implicit in high quality play is the concept of interaction. On the simplest level this is contact with a toy. On the next level it includes with the toy other people, children and/or adults. On the highest level it is a process, an open-ended activity without a set of specific actions, results, or correct solutions that conform to adult standards. It is a creative process and generates from a child’s self-direction. Cherish this free-form concept and allow it to flourish.
Excerpted from Constructive Parenting pp. 93-94.
Playing with a toy is valuable, but playing with a toy with you increases its worth. As you and your students continue to enjoy toy and game activities together, you both will benefit. Learning will increase, and your relationship will be enriched.
January! The Month of the New Beginning
Much child learning takes place as a result of playing. While toy activities are the focus of play during the first three years, game activities take center stage after that. Start simple games during the preschool years from ages 3 to 5 and continue to follow-up with increasingly more complex ones for many years to come.
Children’s playthings are not sports and should
be deemed as their most serious actions.
—Montaigne: Essays I. xxii (cited in Evans, 1993, p. 102)