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Let the children play

Let the children play
Getting your Green On It is easy for those of us who work in early childhood settings with natural play spaces to advocate for children's right to play in natural surroundings. For many of us, the reality is more likely to be a play space dominated by soft fall and/or fake grass, surrounded by 4 walls or ugly fencing and barely a tree in sight. This doesn't mean that the educators in these centres aren't aware of the many benefits of nature to everyone who uses the space. What it does mean is that they need to work a little bit harder, think a bit more creatively and engage the team, children and families in a vision of creating a greener outdoor space that offers children the opportunity to develop connections with the natural world and experience the outdoors as a place of wonder and possibility - usually on a very limited budget. A New Series

The Ten Commandements of Play-Based Learning « Abundant Life Children My day-to-day work with young children paired with the here-and-there trainings and consultations I do with other early childhood professionals continue to teach me this: one of the most difficult lines to toe in the complex world of play-based learning is the one that separates “too involved” from “disengaged”. Scores of us champion the young child’s right to play, but the intricacies of such work are more difficult to articulate. In an effort to articulate how I discern the line, I have created a Ten Commandments-esque list, having just listened to one of my all time favorite episodes of This American Life. This list captures my guiding principles when it comes to accompanying children through play-based learning. Despite appearances to the contrary, I do not view this list as exhaustive, and if you have your own to add, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

outdoor play: when benefits outweigh the risks These three intrepid 3 year old master builders solved the problem of how to make a tower of milk crates tall enough to reach the sandpit shade cloth by cleverly creating a system of steps: They were justifiably proud of themselves when they reached the top: And when you've reached the top?

Ms. Conway's Kindergarten Website: About Play-Based Learning It has long been known that there is a strong link between play and learning. Children are full of natural curiosity and they explore this curiosity through play. When kids are playing, it's the perfect time to learn. Play teaches kids how to problem solve, how to make friends, how to express themselves, how to enjoy the world around them, and how to recognize letters and numbers. All of these skills form the foundation of a love of learning.

Preschool lessons: New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer Ours is an age of pedagogy. Anxious parents instruct their children more and more, at younger and younger ages, until they're reading books to babies in the womb. They pressure teachers to make kindergartens and nurseries more like schools. So does the law—the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act explicitly urged more direct instruction in federally funded preschools. There are skeptics, of course, including some parents, many preschool teachers, and even a few policy-makers.

Do templates kill creativity? Mats Anderson posted this image together with the following words "barns egen kreativitet och skaparlust eller likriktning och mallar? Studiebesök på en förskola i Bologna" (children's own creativity and desire to create or regimentation and templates? A study visit to a preschool in Bologna - (part of a Reggio Emilia study trip)) - this was posted on a Swedish Reggio Emilia group, to stimulate thoughts... It certainly got me thinking... The Mud Kitchen - A Recipe for marvellous Outdoor play Hello lovely blog visitors. Welcome! I am sharing the newest edition to Dimples out door play area today. The awesome and totally messy mud kitchen. The best recipe for engaging children in messy, active, outdoor learning is with mud.

Harvard Education Letter New Haven teacher Elise Goodhue tries to fit play into the rigors of kindergarten Volume 26, Number 5September/October 2010 New data support a return to “balance” in kindergarten By Laura Pappano The How To Mom: how to fix your child's attitude I didn't really give much thought to my parenting philosophy until my oldest daughter was about 3. She was stubborn, and hated to be "controlled" which just made me want to try even harder to control her. It was power struggle city. Over ev.ry.thing.