Let them play (Part Two)

When Ella was about 2 or so, we took her to the Farm Barn – a place for kids to interact with a range of little animals, and see some bigger farm animals.

She was vaguely interested. Mildly terrified at times too.

But my clearest memory is of when she decided she’d had enough of animals and wasn’t really interested anymore. Everyone else was looking at the goats sticking their heads through the fence — Ella was in her own little world, dancing her way up a hill, getting in other people’s way, but joyfully spinning around anyway. And she was happy. She didn’t care about the goats.

And in that moment, I hoped she would always be this free. Free to never have her imagination cut off, limited, restricted – for what? To see the nice goats? For the convenience of others?

Watching her absolute freedom, I could only imagine what was going on inside her mind, where her own thoughts and creations were taking her.

Continue reading “Let them play (Part Two)”

Let them play (Part One)

Let them play!

Let the children play.

Freeform and unscheduled, not limited to set blocks of “official” time so children are free to fully explore their cognitive processes without being interrupted at possibly critical points. Critical points to them, likely not always visible to others.

Just because it’s 10.30 and all of the class must come and sit on the mat and be quiet at this time…that may be what is required for a manageable classroom, but is it what is actually best for children??

What significant natural developmental processes are we interrupting & depriving them of by pushing structured ‘learning’ so early?

Continue reading “Let them play (Part One)”