"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." -- Fred Rogers
For kids, the world is a place of mystery, surprise, wonder. Anything is possible to a little child. Anything!
A child is busy learning in every moment. All anyone needs to do is guide a child, protect her, introduce her to new things. And...play with her!
She will make a game of everything. She will explore, create, imagine. She will make stuff up. A healthy child will play until her eyes can no longer stay open; this is her work! She is passionate about it.
Healthy children play. It's what they're meant to do.
For kids to grow and thrive and become lovers of learning, adults who care for them must let go the idea that all education requires some version of a classroom with little kids sitting still at their desks and quietly relating to the abstract via the current rectangular interface (whether digital or analog the stylus, the tablet.)
They are not meant to be sitting still for any longer than it takes them to really groove on something that fascinates them. They might stay in a chair at a table to make a drawing, to scribble, to see what crayons do when you press them really hard into paper. Then they are off to the next thing their attention grabs.
In our Little Big Kids Program, we take advantage of a child's absorbent mind and sensitive periods. In this summer's pilot program, we are having fun with science, music, art, and craft.
Last week's lesson began our botany explorations! We set some beans to sprout in little plastic baggie terrariums.
We've been checking on them every day and noticing they are doing things! Woo hoo!
In our next class, we're going to transplant the sprouted bean seedlings into some dirt cups. We are going to talk about it, draw some pictures, sing a song, and feel really good with new wonder about the cycle of life! Yay! Learning is FUN!