Many of us work all day, implementing new ideas, learning new concepts, working closely with different personalities, solving problems, and much, much more! All of these day to day tasks are our part of our job. We know this walking in. In school, even early learning facilities, the children are required to do all of these same things. We, however, allow them to do these things through creative play.
Imagine a day at “work” where you could choose the next task and invite your friends to help you!
Children are learning and making important decisions throughout most of their day. When they are “playing” with blocks, they are exercising their tiny muscles in their hands – improving their grip and how they will, eventually, hold a scissor, pencil and more. They are also figuring out how to balance one block on top of the other. They are creating a tower, house, ship, or farm. They are making important decisions about how many blocks they need for the walls, how tall their structure will be and what other items are going inside. Their little minds are constructing big pictures. If asked to build one of these structures, children might be less inclined…. seeing it as “work”. In addition, when playing along-side a friend, the children are articulating their thoughts and ideas, cooperating with one another to develop their masterpiece. Each of these children has a different approach, level of language, personality, etc. Learning to work together is a skill that children begin to master at a young age.
I am sure many of you have heard the saying “if you love what you do, you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life”. Children have the luxury of learning through experiences and absorbing the world as new things are introduced. Our interaction with them, our introducing new and different things and our encouragement to explore their ideas is the best way to help them learn.
People often tell me, I want my children to learn that life is not ‘all fun and games’. I tell them – they are learning so much now by having fun and playing games – even responsibilities can be fun at a young age (line leader, table setter, etc)… Your child has time before the greater responsibilities are introduced – they will learn to take them on with a better foundation and spirit if they are permitted to play now.