Nancy Carlsson-Paige, in an article in the Provincetown Independent, writes this about the power of play to help children deal with adversity:
“Not only does play foster cognitive development, it is also the primary way that young children maintain emotional balance. Play is how kids cope.
We see reports of how children are playing out the Covid experience. They zap the virus, they wave it away, they make medicine and pretend to help sick people. These mirror accounts of children playing out other challenges and traumas they have faced. Once children return to school, they are going to need a lot of time to play in order to process what they’ve been through with Covid-19. This is what will help them regain a sense of security for going forward.”
Rusty Keeler, in his inspiring new book, Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes?, writes about play’s importance this way:
“Play is a biological need and a necessity for healthy development. Freely chosen, child-directed play should be an unalienable right of all children everywhere. It should be supported, celebrated, honored, and allowed. We should listen to children. We should provide for their needs. We should work our hardest to support and lift up the beauty and wonder and wildness that is children’s play.”
Source: “Taking Stock of What We’ve Done to Young Children,” by Nancy Carlsson-Paige, The Provincetown Independent, August 13, 2020
What is Your Yes?
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Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes? goes to the heart of risk-taking and children. As educators working with young children, we all have boundaries and feelings around what risky play is allowed. Rusty Keeler invites us to examine the cage of boundaries that we have created for ourselves and our children. He challenges us to rattle our cage and discover where the lines are movable. In our role as educators and caretakers, when we allow children to play and confront risk on their own terms, we see them develop, hold their locus of control and make choices on how to navigate the bumpy terrain of a situation. What better teaching tool for life is there?
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