Play = Learning

Next time you see your child deeply engrossed in creative play, step back and try to understand that play is far more than it appears to be.  Your child is deeply engrossed in learning.  Why not take a break and try it out.  You might find that you are just a bit more relaxed and enlightened.

Paul Bailey, in his book entitled, Think of an Elephant, (Watkins Publishing, 2007) makes some very interesting observations about children and play.  “Watch children at play and you might suddenly realize that they are not just frivolously wasting time… Child’s play is deep learning:  a self-directed state of deep connectedness and personal engagement.  It is also an enthusiastic and absorbing state of relaxed attention – healthy qualities often missing from adult life.  Play is a creative learning to one integrated and healthy whole.  Awash with symbols and mental imagery, children at play are learning in a way that can be wildly creative, insightful, and visionary…..”

“Research shows that the more animals play, the bigger their brains grow.  Moreover, brain imaging techniques show that social play seems to rewire our brain, increasing the activity of connections or logical reasoning, our ability to learn, and our behavioral flexibility.”

Pam Deutsch, Director

Fairmount Temple Early Childhood Center