Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning (2006)

Lessons in Learning – November 8, 2006

Changes in society over the past several decades have made it increasingly rare for Canadian children to have long, uninterrupted blocks of time to play indoors and outdoors, by themselves or with friends. At the same time, growing numbers of children spend substantial time in structured educational and recreation activities.

The authors of this paper point to research indicating that unstructured play nourishes every aspect of children’s development, forming the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life. Children need time to play for the sake of playing.

Creating the conditions necessary for children to learn from play requires ensuring that there is adequate time and space for play to develop, both indoors and outdoors; making sure that early-learning environments have an appropriate balance of child-initiated free play and more directed learning; improving the quality and scope of play in early-learning environments; and promoting the value of play and the child’s right to play.

As well, the authors point to the need to create tools to assess the quality of play environments and experiences; develop ways to assess the learning of individual children and groups of children in play contexts; and provide a clear focus in teacher training on the role of adults in facilitating children’s play.

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Added: 
2013-02-08
APA citation
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL). Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning 2006. Web. 21 Oct. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/lessons_learning/let_children_play/let_children_play.pdf>
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) (2006). Let the children play: Nature's answer to early learning. Retrieved October 21, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/lessons_learning/let_children_play/let_children_play.pdf
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