THE POWER OF PLAY
“Play is the answer to the question, how does anything new ever come about?” - Jean Piaget
Play is the primary source of development in children. Children develop positively through play. Play gives children practice figuring out what they want, coming up with goals and ideas – essential skills in self-disciplined adults. Play allows children to make meaning of new concepts and creates experiences that allow them to form connections to future learning concepts. In play, children make decisions and determine the course of what happens in the imaginary situation. Self-discipline, the formation of real-life plans, and decision-making motives all appear in play.
When children are playing at being a fire fighter, they are not learning to fight fires; rather, they are learning how to relate to people in diverse situations, how to adapt, how to think, how to make decisions, how to form relationships, how to generate possibilities, and how to guide their own behavior. They learn how to make decisions and plans – in fact they often spend more time planning the roles of the imaginary situation than actually playing the game. Through play, children become wonderful learners. Through play, children learn how to learn. Play is the essence of childhood learning.
“Looking becomes reading; touching becomes writing.” - Maria Montessori