Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Don't Pay for Them to Play!

Play to an adult may seem or feel frivolous or irresponsible. It may feel like a major waste of time. As adults we rarely play...even when we do. Many spend hundreds of dollars on gym membership, but surely this is not play, after all who really looks forward to the gym. ("Not I," said Alida) Some adults are even on teams playing baseball or softball or basketball, but surely this is not play! It's exercise, it's blowing off steam, it's staying fit but rarely do we describe it as play. Some adult even "play" video games, but they do it to relax, to disconnect after a hard day at work. This surely cannot be play. It has a purpose, a reason, we engage in these activities because they are good for us. We rarely stop to take note of ALL the benefits of play, especially for the youngest among us.

Sometimes when parents come to see the preschool they tell me about other places that they have visited. I have heard about babysitters that sit in front of the T.V. all day while the kids play all day long. My mind is simple. It thinks, T.V. all day - bad. Children playing all day - good! I've heard parents tell me they want to know what kind of academics are offered, because they are not paying to have their children play all day. My mind thinks, academics - good. Children play all day - good! I can totally understand wanting to reap some very specific benefits from any kind of learning environment, especially if you are paying top dollar. While we do offer an academic program, we do it through play. Play after all is the work of the child.

On Tuesday, March 29, 2011 I am speaking at the Salem Central Library on this very topic. Joining me is Pam Houghton from Mrs. Houghton's Gingersnaps Child Care and Playhouse. We will be discussing the value of play in child development. We will be detailing what exactly your child is learning while he plays. We will be listing what the best toys are and I guarantee you'll be surprised! We will also be leading a workshop where you will be making a toy to take home for your child.

If you are a parent looking for quality care or a child care provider wondering how to explain the importance of play to parents of children in your care, I urge you to join us. I will be revisiting the subject of play many, many times on this blog. For now, I will leave the details of our workshop and I headed off to "play" with the kids.

Ivy League-West and Mrs. Houghton’s Gingersnaps present:

The Value of Play in Children Development

Join Alida Chacon and Pam Houghton as they share their views on the value of play, which toys elicit imaginative play and what ways you can engage your child through play.

Come share your thoughts, questions and ideas. Make a toy to take home for your child to play with the next day.

Salem Central Public Library

585 Liberty St. Salem Oregon

Plaza Room

March 29, 2011

7:15 pm to 8:45 pm

Cost: $5.00 in advance $7.00 at the door

Seating is limited. Call to reserve your seat today.