"My Connection to Play"

In the field of early childhood education "Play" is not said to children enough! Children learn through "Play". The skills that children develop through play are cognitive, motor skills, social skills, and problem solving. Children learn from interacting with their peers. They learn how to use their imagination, and pretend. Children in the world today face many challenges. One of them are not being able to play! Early childhood educators focus more on curriculum then play. Children may receive an hour of play time depending on the daily curriculm. A quote I recently read stated " Childhood is not a race to see who can read, write, and count. Childhood is a small window of time to learn and develop at a pace that's right for each individual child ( Busymomsparenting.com).

I remember being in kindergarten a a child and not being given a lot of course work. I remember Circle time, singing my alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes, days of the week, etc. I remember story time with Mother Goose! My teacher had a huge Mother Goose that talked and would read the class storiesat storytime. I also remember playing games on the carpet like Duck Duck Goose, and Red light! Green Light. I loved recess, and swinging on the Monkey Bars. I use to play jump rope, and It with my classmates. My learning experience in the classroom was fun and being active. My mother would do projects with me, she taught me my alphabets, numbers and how to spell my name before I even entered Kindergarten. She would take me to the park daily to play and explore. I loved the sand bank, and making sand castles. I caught bugs and put them in jars. I was allowed to play and explore. My older sisters would play pretend school with me, and house. They would even play hair dresser and comb my hair! My experience as a child was much different then my children's experiences.

"Children have a fulltime occupation. It's called Play!

Let them be occupied by it from early years until their twilight years.

Author : Vince Gowmon.com

In my experience as a early childhood educator children seem to spend more time doing curriculum such as worksheets, then being allowed to play! One of the reasons children are not allowed to play as much are the state standards. Children are expected to know more at an earlier age. Kindergarten is full day not, half day anymore. Naptime has been removed, and now remote learning has been added due to the pandemic. Children are either doing worksheets, or remote learning. Children need Play, not a computer screen to watch other children play. Educators have to focus on state standards, the development of each child, curriculum, and lesson plans. Children are not always allowed recess and social distance guidelines does not allow children to play together. Play today is more about standards, and safety!

Growing up as a child Play, and having friendships was my entire childhood. My teachers exposed me to games, and we were allowed recess,and learning was fun! Mother Goose storytime is something I will forever remember. Play & Pretend allowed me to discover what I wanted to be when I became a adult. It also encouaged my sisters to become educators as well. All types of play are important whether it's Pretend or Social. They help children discover themselves.

"I hope as an educator to be able to continue to discover new ideas that promote Play in the classroom, that includes social distancing. "

"Play gives Children a chance to practice what they are learning"- Fred Rogers

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