The magic of play is something that you can’t un-see. Once you’ve seen just what a powerful component it is in child development then you can never go back. True play is a hybrid of collaboration, creativity, imagination and interpretation beyond anything that an adult could hope to plan for in its worn out call for “children will...” planning sheets.
Children’s playfulness lies outside of the Adult World. A child’s ‘story’ comes from the heartfelt and from the wildness of imagination. Yet as adults we have detached from this. For some reason we feel the need to grasp the child’s world with the cold hands of control, analysis and domination. We seem unable to come to our senses and actually step into their world.
Children offer us a passport into their magical realm day in, day out yet we remain steadfast in our intent to ‘teach’, to lend our voice, our crooked dream.
The cause for this lies in our Adult World failure to truly recognise ‘child development’ within our education system. We demand ‘sameness’, data, progress, measures. This kind of archaic rule over children has little time or space to allow or create conditions for children to truly flourish or lead their own learning. It has to feed itself numbers, and spreadsheets and results. This control is borne out of one deep-rooted thing: fear. The Adult World is afraid of children. Of their power, of their potential, of their dreams. And at the same time it is also afraid of itself, the Adult World: SLT, standards, curriculum, Ofsted, Learning Walks, book scrutiny... It is driven to shackle and reduce children to a one-size-fits-all.
And yet this is a choice. And if it’s a choice ipso facto there must be an alternative. You are able to choose to educate children differently.
So that means there is another path to tread. It just needs courage and conviction to take the first steps. It needs adults who dare to dream, who feel connection to the child’s world through love and the knowledge that children have a song to sing and hearts that beat with the rhythm of play.
Yes it’s a challenge. Yes the Adult World demands currently have a louder voice but if one by one we can begin to raise our own voices can we not at least try to become the best-version-of-ourselves, educating with integrity and real passion. It isn’t easy. It will bring struggle but together we can, piece by piece, enable our children to grow and learn through the one thing that ignites them: play...
Can I Go Play Now..? is committed to widening the understanding of the magic of children's play as an educational tool. Child-centred, play-based learning is where it's truly at....