Parents newsletter B

November 30, 2019

EARLY ARTS Intervention

Playing now for a productive future

Dr. Gai Lindsay (University of Wollongong, Australia)

How do we best prepare children for the futures they will
encounter?
How do we equip children with the kinds of skills, knowledge and attitudes they will require in a world we can’t even imagine?

Children, as ‘workers of the future’, will need much more than high test scores in literacy and numeracy. Don’t get me wrong, these skills are, and no doubt always will be helpful, but they are only part of the equation for your child’s future potential and wellbeing. Amongst the proliferation of high-stakes testing, organised activities, screen time and coaching, children need time, space, freedom and many, many opportunities to play, create, imagine and develop dispositions for learning and wellbeing.
Fortunately, many around the world, including the world economic forum , are realising what early childhood teachers have long known – that play is not just play. When play is open, free, child-led and intrinsically motivated it supports children to develop the types of attitudes, dispositions and creative thinking that will equip them to tackle whatever their futures may bring. It is important to remember that free play means that the experience isn’t imposed and structured with rules or used as a vehicle for adult imposed agendas. Follow this link for more ideas on how to encourage free play.
So, next time your children have a few spare moments (and let’s face it, it is important for children to have lots of unstructured time) offer them opportunities to play, dance, draw, create imaginary worlds, paint, play with water, make a cubby house, get out the clay or play-dough, go for a nature walk and play dress-ups. They will thank you for it!

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