Was listening to a TED talk today about play and how essential it is in building creativity. It got me thinking:
As children progress throughout school life, they begin in Nursery/Reception (or whatever equivalent in other countries) where the majority of learning is through play, planned or unplanned. Then during the next couple of years this is transitioned to more ‘traditional’ learning, as in not ‘play’. Soon by the time the children are 8 play is completely excluded from the curriculum and best playing toy in the classroom is the electric sharpener that teacher occasionally will allow you to use! And when you get to be a grown up, forget playing in the workplace! There I think the most malleable tools you can you to create and play would be that random piece of blu-tack that you don’t know how long has been there.
Why is this? Do we humans suddenly get too old to play at around age 7-8? Is it considered we’ll learn more than the main means we’ve been learning our whole lives previously. Play can be a vehicle for learning beyond our childhood years, creativity flows through it.
I’ll embed the video in this post – it’s well worth a watch. It’s half an hour or so but well worth your time! Consider it. I think I will consider my classroom environments in future with this in mind.