Play Reflection by Melanie Ness
From my experience, I believe that for young children play is accepted as a very powerful way for children to learn. It is a natural way for a young child to make sense of the world. Young children test boundaries and learn responses by playing. Play is serious work for children. It can be difficult and sometimes frustrating, but will result in added skills and knowledge as children persevere in their pursuits.
I have been blessed with several grandchildren over the past couple of years. It is such a joy to watch them play. It is so rewarding to provide opportunities for them to explore using blocks, playdough, paint, or just going outside to play and explore the natural world. The growth and knowledge that they gather from these experiences is amazing and essential.
I am concerned that too many programs focus on academics and devalue play. Expecting children to read too soon, or memorize facts can steal the joy from learning. As children get older they are expected to complete their work before they play. Turning to tinkering and making in the classroom can bring back meaningful playing to the classroom and beyond.
Today, when I was thinking about this question I saw an adult wearing a T-shirt that read “Work Hard, Play Harder”. I think this sums up the answer that humans need to play at all stages of life. Play allows for creativity and freedom in thinking. It can also be a very cathartic activity for adults who are stressed out and need a different perspective.
"If every child were to be given access to a computer, computers would be cheap enough for every child to be given access to a computer."
Links to Weekly