As adults, we usually think of play as a “break from work” but in actual fact, it is part of everything we do. It’s just labeled differently. When we are told to collaborate or be part of a team, what are we, if not “playing together”? Or how about when we innovate? Is that not “playing around” with ideas, using our imaginations to explore solutions or creating something new? And what of negotiation? Isn’t that simply “turn taking” or “sharing” — key components of play?
You can see why play is considered one of the most important, most crucial aspects of your child’s development. Most of our students and children have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)to set goals for language, cognition, social, and motor goals. The understanding for professionals and parents is we are here to teach skills through PLAY!
In our society as a whole, I think the word “play” gets downplayed (no pun intended). We, as a culture, value hard work, acquire skills, etc., but the mistake we make, is in not realizing we can accomplish great things in life by working hard, acquiring skills, and we can also have fun doing it. Our children especially should be having fun — and playing — because in preschool and later in life, playing is learning and more specifically, learning language.
Language is part of everything we do. We communicate our beliefs, wants, and needs through language. We express emotions through words or facial expressions. We take part in lifelong interactions whether it be through:
Language validates our existence and makes our life meaningful and worthwhile.
Play, it’s for everyone.