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Play-Based Learning At Risk
December 29, 2021
Expect that what you tend to will grow. Expect that what you feed with your care and attention, what you shine your light on, will thrive. Choose wisely.
-Maggie Smith, American poet
A recent online article in The Guardian describes a study funded by the Lego Foundation that found that "children should learn mainly through play until the age of eight." The article explains, "A lack of understanding of the value of play is prompting parents and schools alike to reduce it as a priority, says Hanne Rasmussen, head of the Lego Foundation. If parents and governments push children towards numeracy and literacy earlier and earlier, it means they miss out on the early play-based learning that helps to develop creativity, problem-solving and empathy, she says."

In a recent video added to Exchange’s online video service, Ed.Flicks, Donna King, author of the book, Pursuing Bad Guys: Joining Children’s Quest for Clarity, Courage and Community says this about children’s deep need to learn through play: "When I started hanging out with kids and paying attention to what they were doing when they were free to choose, it was pretend play. That is the thing that I saw them doing all the time."




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Comments (3)

Displaying All 3 Comments
Nancy Rosenow · December 29, 2021
United States


I so agree with Francis! I think Donna King was giving one example of play, and an important one at that. But constructive play is at least equally as important - especially if we remember indoors AND outdoors!

Francis Wardle · December 29, 2021
Center for the Study of Biracial Children
Denver, Colorado, United States


Let's remember that there are other forms of play besides pretend play. I am a huge proponent of constructive play - both indoors and on the playground. In constructive play children manipulate objects, create patterns, and build all sorts of constructions, and they become familiar with the physical properties of a vast array of objects and materials. The late, great educator Jerome Bruner argues that, "when children can manipulate and create with objects, they will be able to manipulate and create with ideas."

Cyndi · December 29, 2021
Growing Wings, LLC
St Paul, MN, United States


Everyone concerned should speak up against the BA ECE requirement for UPK in the Build Back Better bill! This will eventually place children primarily in school settings. No matter the pretty wording for mixed delivery



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