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Cultivating a Playful Learning Environment
November 21, 2023
Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.
-Kay Redfield Jamison, American psychologist and writer
Laughter is a universal language that transcends cultures and brings people together. For children, laughter is more than just a fleeting moment of joy; it's a vital ingredient for healthy development. Embracing silliness and engaging in playful humor with children is not just about having fun; it's about fostering their emotional, social, and cognitive growth.

Robyn Sotak, in the article at the heart of the Exchange Reflections, “Connecting Playfully with Children,” notes:

“Being playful helps me develop relationships while also enjoying myself and making my classroom a fun environment. If I am not having fun, I am not teaching in the way that I like, and that means I am not doing my best work. I really love teaching with a relaxed, playful, and fun attitude, and my goal is to show others how to do the same.”

How do you foster a playful environment? Here are some of Sotak’s ideas:

Attendance Rituals: Mundane tasks like attendance can be transformed into moments of shared joy. Allowing the children to choose how they respond adds an element of fun and ownership to an otherwise routine activity.

Intentional Mistakes: Deliberately make mistakes and encourage children to correct and guide you. This not only reinforces learning but also transforms potential challenges into enjoyable learning experiences.

Pretend Play: Embracing pretend play, such as pretending to be a student or having students imitate one another, fosters a sense of shared identity and reinforces the comfort and camaraderie within the classroom.

By weaving play into the fabric of our daily interactions, we cultivate a world of joy, connection, and a lifelong passion for learning. Embrace your inner child and unleash your playful spirit with your little ones. Remember, silliness isn't just for fun; it's essential for nurturing healthy, happy children.

Thanks to Brittany Cernic, Dimensions Marketing and Sales Assistant, for today’s message!


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