Friday, November 8, 2013

The Play's the Thing (Act I)

I took a bit of a detour from my writing career after college when I branched off to teach  preschool. And I wouldn't take it back for a second! Working with children and the people who work with them for the past 12 years has added unspeakable value to my life and my awareness as a mom and a person.

And I am fortunate to have built a network filled with very smart, kind, patient and tenacious people working in the field of early childhood education, who believe in doing what is best for children and the people who support them.

I am still proud to be a part of Launching into Literacy and Math, an organization made up of early childhood providers, school district staff and various community representatives working in the spirit of collaboration to ensure the providers who are working with young children are fully equipped with what they need to enhance young children's care and education.

Our mission: "Empowering Play, Enhancing Learning" captures the true spirit of childhood and is a message we want to make clear to early childhood providers and the people who support them. (Stay tuned for more about the education system in Act II.)

Children--no, scratch that--we all need daily time to play. Yes, play. Not just to blow off steam or have fun, but because you learn from play. You grow from play. We're all better people when we include play in our lives.

There are many ways you can play. One of my boys' favorites is a whole intricate make-believe world, with made-up characters and plots which picks up right where it left off.

What are they learning by running around and making up stuff?
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Managing Conflicts
  • Teamwork
How many times have you used each of those skills in your work today?

Some other ways they like to play:
  • reading
  • drawing
  • building/constructing
  • throwing the football
  • exploring outside

My own favorite types of  play include:
  • reading
  • writing
  • sewing
  • cooking
  • walking
  • telling stories with my friends and family
Play doesn't have to be complicated, it doesn't have to cost lots of money and it doesn't need to involve lots of things. It just is what it is. Very simply. (And stay tuned for more on those thoughts in future posts as well.)

How do you and/or your family enjoy playing?

Today's post is dedicated to William Shakespeare, who was the ultimate "player."
"To thine own self be true..."--William Shakespeare


  1. Wonderful post! I could not agree more. Play is so crucial for kids and adults alike.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I hope you got out and played today!