Active Play in Early Childhood

Play is children's therapy - they work through worries, curiosities, fears, and triumphs through their play.

At school we teach that games are for having fun, and if someone in the game is not having fun, the game should change. Children always have the choice not to participate in activities or play. Active play gives children many opportunities to practice reading faces and listening to each other's words. Children learn to be empathetic through more active play. They are learning about their bodies, their limits, about what is too much and not enough. Children are not learning to hurt each other - they are learning how NOT to hurt each other. They are using critical thinking skills and negotiation, and are learning to read body and facial language. 

The adults are closely monitoring this play and often make observations and point out choices and options. We talk about what, "stop" means and having the face and body language to match the message. Active play is vital for all children. If we shut them down, we never learn what they are thinking, feeling, or deciding.


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