As we roll towards Winter Break and hopefully less structure to your day, please make time for your student(s) to explore their curiosities and play. Playing is learning, and learning to play builds valuable life skills that are useful in classrooms and outside of campus. As Fred Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”All of our Mission Skills, empathy, perseverance, collaboration, and curiosity, can be learned and further honed through play. Play promotes social-emotional, cognitive, language, and executive function development while also helping students form relationships with those around them.
A recent article published by NPR, highlights five proven benefits of play.
- Play is essential for healthy brain development
- Play reduces obesity and associated diseases
- Play helps children manage stress
- Play helps families bond
- Play contributes to academic skills
Today, its far too easy to rely on digital devices and have students entertaining themselves by watching YouTube or using social media apps. Instead, prescribe play time where no devices may be used. Make space for play.
For those looking to read the full report published in Pediatrics magazine (September 2018, Volume 142, Issue 3), it may be found here.