Heuristic play

Open-ended play

Did you ride bicycles around the block and play Hide-and-Seek outside with friends until you were called inside for dinner? These experiences helped us develop our senses and taught us to self-regulate our actions, preparing us ultimately for the more formal education of school.
So often we when we think of learning we think of paper and pencil. Or maybe we think of watching an educational program or listening to an engaging speaker. It’s important as parents and caregivers to know that movement, and especially movement in free play, is a major contributor to brain growth.
Adult-imposed responses to behaviour, whether positive or negative, can take away a child's own feelings of control and stop them learning to think for themselves.
Are their qualities that we, as more experienced learners, display when we engage with little children in their learning?
After six years of facilitating professional development sessions on the exploration of materials with teachers, I am more convinced than ever that blocks are one of the most essential materials for the early childhood classroom.
The kinds of traditional play that children have done naturally for generations is still at the foundation of the work that we do, and need to do, with children. We have the wisdom of the sages through the ages, but we also have the wisdom of the children right here, right now.
In this fourth article of the Model for Living series we explore play and playfulness, which are key dynamics in early childhood development.
The more I think about ways to support children in growing into productive, happy, and kind individuals, the more I realize that time outdoors may be the missing ingredient. Spending unstructured time in nature opens a world of wonder and awe.
In a world in which we are preparing our youngest generation for professions still unknown, it is imperative to fuel children’s curiosity and appetite for learning. This love of learning, along with the skills to communicate, problem-solve, and self-regulate, will lead to life-long success no...
Children in the Liverpool area have been benefiting from an initiative to inspire learning through block play.

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