Happy New Year!
Today is the day that many of us set intentions or create resolutions for ourselves for the coming year. We examine the past year and take a retrospective look at ourselves and our work with children and families. We bring into focus what is most important and try to reorient our work and personal lives in that direction.
Each year I select an individual word that captures my intention, and put a lot of thought and focus in deciding the word. (Drum roll please…)For 2019 my word is:
As an early childhood educator I feel that I have taken on a new role as a “Protector of Play”. I haven’t yet made a cape or designed an action hero costume, but I feel a sewing project coming on soon!
We know that ample research shows that play is an essential part of the healthy development of children. We know that child-directed play is a primary contributor to the mental, physical, and social-emotional wellbeing of our children. Yet as teachers or care providers of young children we feel like we need to continue to defend the rights of children to have time to play. WHY?
Sadly, time for play has been eroded away for most children and it’s time to take a stand for PLAY!
Outdoor play, unstructured play, open ended art, and play for all ages…
I won’t get on my soapbox today, but I am eager to share specific strategies for how to put PLAY at the center of the curriculum. And will also be reminding you that grown ups need PLAY and self-care to make 2019 the best year yet!