All About Play

All About Play

PLAY is universal and something we have all done when we were younger.  All our play experiences would be different based on where we lived, our culture, families, position in family etc.  However, if we close our eyes and cast our minds back to our childhood and playing what memories come to mind?  Building a cubby under the table or in the bush (backyard),  kicking a ball around, laying on the grass with the dog staring at the sky, l ong periods of play with friends or periods of solitary play,  lost in our own thoughts,  uninterrupted by adults only to come and find an adult when we were hungry or thirsty.  The learning that took place back then was crucial to helping shape who we are today.

At St Stephen’s Preschool we believe that PLAY is the most crucial element in childhood.  It is the cornerstone of our programme as it is a basic and fundamental right of every child under the United Nations “Convention on the Rights of the Child”, UNICEF 1989.

Here are some of our thoughts on PLAY.

  • We believe that play is not wasted time, but rather time spent building new knowledge from previous experience or creating new understandings.
  • It looks, sounds and feels different to everyone.
  • From a very early age, children engage and interact in the world around them through play.
  • Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills.
  • Is important for healthy brain development.
  • Is an activity where children show their remarkable ability for exploration, imagination, communication and decision making.
  • Happens with a friend, in groups, in solitude, with adults, inside, outside – but in all of its forms there are innumerable benefits.
  • Is not predetermined by well meaning adults, is not planned, scripted or lead – true play comes from within a child and observed by adults. Adults can learn about themselves and life from watching children play.

Below are links to some articles to on Play for further information and reflection.

Factsheets on Play

“Play based learning” article from Every Child Magazine

“Why I don’t like play based learning” from Happiness is Here blog.