Thursday, 20 February 2014

Let's Play!

There appears to be a consensus growing. Those little seeds of angst, sown haphazardly by parents concerned about how much free playtime is a good thing for their children, are sprouting.

Educationalists and sociologists are now taking it in turns to feed and water the role of play, in a child’s life. And we might expect (eventually) politicians to play their part, too. Although the notion of allowing children to explore their world through games of their own making, may need to be deconstructed and fed to elected members in bite-size pieces.

There are others who can put the argument much better than I can. So I’ll point you (if you’re interested) to this article by Dr David Whitebread, and Gever Tulley's short TED video that is guaranteed to curl the hair of some.

6 comments:

  1. excellent! Thanks for posting this- and while we're discussing this- I think about all the children of today that have such structured lives there is no time for them to just play. I had a free childhood that alllowed me to experiment and explore my world while playing with my friends..

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  2. Very funny and interesting! Apart from breaking digital law and driving a car, the first four things featured in my childhood (though I am still rubbish at throwing, as my cat will tell you). My parents even gave me a new, slender, pocket knife when I left home for my first au pair job! I used it to cut apples and cheese a lot.

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  3. I mean, what do today's parents think happened fifty years ago when there weren't all these activities (often paid for) provided? I thought that was what family was about ... spending time together, playing, finding things to do. Bah. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but we had great fun with a roll of masking tape or a pan full of home made playdoh.... (and the kids enjoyed it too)

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  4. great stuff Martin and something I've been thinking about for ages - I'm all for unsupervised play and long periods of the child having to create their own amusement (mainly because I am so lazy ;) ) - hahaha - children need to be bored so they can create their own amusements out of desperation for something to do - and they always come up with something being creative critters us humans. I think homework is just a waste of time for most of the school years and managed to convince my daughters teacher to let her have a couple of years without homework (the boy wants to do homework so he gets to do it - but I wouldn't force him as that is counterproductive). I have let the kids drive the car around the fields (they love it as you would expect) and playing with fire is a great activity (haven't given them knives however - hahaha - but can't see the problem unless they are little psychopaths). I know many children who do so many after school activities that they are pretty much scheduled for all hours - I completely disagree with that approach - not only is it too expensive but the child doesn't have enough down time to process everything that happens in a day and processing stuff is what cements learning experiences.

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  5. The value of having time to oneself, whether as a child or as an adult, is immeasurable.

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  6. The author interview in the new Writers' Forum is with Jeanne Willis. She talks about kids and freedom. An awful lot of sense.

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