Two weeks ago I spent a Saturday at my first Edcamp (#edcampdelta – awesome!) where the discussions kept returning to similar concepts: child centred, problem based, inquiry based, play based, hands on, maker movement learning. All of these terms, as one participant noted, are reiterations of the same basic idea: let kids play. Let them play. Give them some tools and some materials and some ideas or questions and let them come up with their own curriculum… Is this new?
This afternoon I sat in a staff meeting with a group of adults contemplating whether we could handle the concept of play and whether or not our students could handle just one afternoon (two hours!) of unstructured unplugged free play. Two hours! Is this really happening?! Have we gone so far astray that children are completely unable to play? Stay tuned – we voted in favour of trying it out. Next week, on Global School Play Day, we will find out if it is in fact possible for kids to learn through unstructured play. Can’t wait!
In the meantime, I have some photos for you from some unstructured Lego based play at our house – otherwise known as everyday! (Except for the days that Mr. Martini threatens to give all the Lego away to more deserving children unless our own children clean up enough to ensure a clear pathway from door to bed and back…) You can never have too much lego… it is the ultimate “every”toy… G.Jr. is the biggest fan – he is the king of creativity in the playroom these days. Each custom built lego wonder has it’s very own purpose and a story to tell as well…
(This is, of course, a hat shop. We have our priorities – everyone needs to have a place to buy quality accessories…)
It may not look like much, but when you are four it is an entire universe. I hope you get a chance today to let your kids play – you never know where it will take them!
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is the work of childhood.” (Mr. Rogers)