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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Importance of Play

© Dan IonutPopescu/

Playing is Important

I received a very interesting newsletter via email from I want to share the article about the importance of play for a child's cognitive and overall development.

Cognitive and Emotional Development Through Play: Enough about "exercise" and "training". Dr. David Elkind, author of The Power of Play: Learning That Comes Naturally, discusses the need to build a more "playful culture."

David Elkind, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of child development at Tufts University and the author of the books The Hurried Child, Miseducation, and, most recently, The Power of Play: Learning That Comes Naturally. Copyright Greater Good. Greater Good Magazine, based at UC-Berkeley, is a quarterly magazine that highlights ground breaking scientific research into the roots of compassion and altruism.

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Labels: brain research, child development, cognitive development, learning, Playing
Link: www.sharpbrains

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The Minimalist said...

I totally agree! In the early 90s I took a job teaching 6th grade in an upscale town in the Portland area. It was temporary and one of the reasons I was told I was not rehired was that I "played" with the kids too much. That was just my teaching style though. My kids all scored high on standardized tests. After successfully teaching for a couple of years in a neighboring district, I landed a job as a media specialist teaching library and computers to K-5 where I could let the kids learn by playing all I wanted! When the district started to try to structure that, I quit teaching and started working with my son and husband in our construction business making much more money playing as much as we want!
Another view into this mess: My poor nieces are shuttled from one soccer game to the next and if it weren't for the time spent on their My Space pages, I fear they would be completely devoid of creativity! That and choosing what they put on their iPods seems to be the only freedom they have!

Liam said...

I completely agree too. Playing is an essential learning experience for children. As a computing teacher, I fortunately am able to allow my students to play (in a productive way) a good deal of the time.

Most people have been taught not to play by the time they are in their late teens. This is probably why many complain about having drab and dreary lives. Creativity is not frivolrous; it's an essential part of living. It comes very naturally to children and should always be encouraged.

Gail Alexander said...

Thanks for the valuable comments!

Gail Alexander

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