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MAKING CLASS TIME COUNT
Every school day involves some organized activities, or structured play, such as art, cooking, story time, peer play activities, or nap time. Child-driven activities or free play, allow children to make up the activity and the rules as they go along, to create within their own boundaries, and often to be surprised by their own invention.
Free play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and dexterity as well as their physical, cognitive, and emotional strengths. Play allows children to create and explore a world they can master, conquering their own fears while practicing adult roles. It has been shown that through free play, children can develop new abilities that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need to face future challenges.
How much of the school day do your students spend in structured time and how much in unstructured play?
On chart paper, draw a large clock face, divided into equal sections, beginning with the hour that school opens and ending with the hour that school ends.
For the Teacher:
Scholastics Magazine: Parents
Scholastics Magazine: Teachers
“Childhood Stress” provides tips for parents on how to listen to their children and encourages parents to acknowledge that their children may be overscheduled and not just complaining about all their activities.
“The Lost Art of Play” provides tips for parents on how to let go of their inhibitions and schedule playtime with their children to increase closeness and encourage self-expression.
“What Children Learn Though Play” provides parents with simple reminders of the skill sets learned by children though free time.
“Why Creative Play Matters” confirms that creative play develops imagination and creativity―tools whose importance is now recognized in the study of higher levels of math and science down the road―as well as in intellectual, social, and emotional development.
National Public Radio
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Updated on 5/9/2012