“Play is the work of the child.” – Maria Montessori
What is the best approach with regards to activities, structured and unstructured play time?
Most educationals authorities recommend a combination of free and managed activities, with emphasis placed on the importance of free play in allowing children to grow and learn. Free play allows children to explore issues by themselves and in so doing, learn through experience.
Free play allows children to:
- Try out scenarios and outcomes without harmful consequence. Kids playing cops and robbers are experimenting with authority and tactical planning.
- Learn through imitation. Remember dress-up and playing house? You were trying out adult roles to see if they fit.
- Reinforce lessons through repetition. Kids repeat things they are interested in, until the lessons is absorbed.
- Just have fun. Playing with no result in mind is vital to a child’s well-being and allows integration of skills.
Boredom is often the breeding ground for great creativity and your children could learn some valuable lessons if given the freedom to do so.
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