Early childhood professionals have may responsibilities. The list of tasks that must be completed on a daily basis includes everything from making sure the environment is clean and safe to planning lessons and documenting learning. Teachers are responsible for feeding young children, settling them down for rest time, and supporting them as they develop self-help skills such as using the toilet independently. Teachers must establish and maintain open lines of communication with families, collaborate with coworkers, and coordinate with other service providers who work with the children in their care. On top of all of that, teachers must be prepared, at any moment, to support children as they work through social interactions with their peers.
These tasks are time-consuming and can fill an entire day in the blink of an eye. They are equally important and together; contribute to the high-quality learning environments that every child deserves. That being said, there is another task that is just as important for children’s learning and development; one that often gets placed on a back burner as teachers work to fulfill all of their other responsibilities. We are talking about engaging in play with children.
Different philosophies approach the idea of engaging children in play in different ways. Some people are staunch advocates for allowing children to engage in free-play, without any adult interruption. Others feel it necessary to guide most aspects of children’s play, from the materials they can play with, to how long they must play with those materials.
In this newsletter, we will explore ways that teachers can enter into meaningful and purposeful play as well as way to recognize when they should NOT interrupt children’s play. Our goal is to help teachers find a middle-path, or balance, in allowing children free-play while still utilizing children’s play as the valuable teaching tool that it is.
For the article Why Engage in Play with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Ways to Engage in Play with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article When to NOT Engage in Play with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Director’s Corner: Encouraging Teachers to Engage in Play with Children, CLICK HERE