Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Importance of Play

I was reading an interesting blog post for work on the importance of play and on traditional games for children. Not just for nostalgia but for what is learned and shared during these games.

For work? I am the Coordinator/Director ( in other words, Nominated Supervisor and Educational Leader) at an Out Of School Hours Centre...before and after school care.

So much of what we do at OOSH resembles my unschooling household.

So much of what we do and did in unschooling was play, new forms of play and traditional forms of play. Play for all ages.

And why is this play important? Read the whole blog post but this excerpt gives a glimpse:

I think there is something important about these traditional games that cannot simply be dismissed as rose-tinted, sepia-toned nostalgia. And I think the time is right to revisit these games and breathe new life into them.
There is something wonderfully pared down and self-reliant about many traditional games. They rarely need equipment. Many can be played almost anywhere, and can cope with a wide range of ages, abilities and numbers of players (I once saw two siblings play hide-and-seek for about fifteen minutes in a five-metres-by-five leisure centre reception area.) And the rules can be endlessly adapted – just as long as a sense of fair play is respected.
Outdoor games also provide children with valuable rehearsals for everyday life. Think about all the tasks that are involved in a game of tag, for instance. Players have to decide who is ‘it’. They have to agree safe spots, and how ‘time out’ works. And they have to sort out disputes about whether or not someone was tagged. The physicality of tag, and indeed many traditional games, demands accurate risk management. When chasing or catching, players have to try to make sure they don’t hurt each other too much, and it’s not a great idea to collide with any non-participants who happen to stray into the area. That is a pretty impressive list of physical, interpersonal and social skills. Traditional Outdoor Games: Tim Gill

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