In her blog, Juliet Robinson shares, “we have been using free play outdoors during my ninety-minute session with the class. This is different in structure to break and lunchtimes in that we all head off to one part of the school grounds with a range of resources they do not normally access. I wanted the children to engage in adventurous play using open-ended equipment including ropes, hammocks, pulleys, and camping equipment. The precise nature of the resources changes week-on-week following discussions with, and observations of, the children at play.”

To me, it seems more of a blog on the importance of materials, offerings, planning, projections, observation, and documentation than it is on “free” play.  Maybe that’s not the correct term…this is certainly different than “just let them play with what ever.”  I am impressed with the level of intention that has gone into these experiences.  By offering pulleys, ropes, and camping tools- it appears to me that she is saying to the children, “I know you are smart, you can figure out how to use these tools in different ways- you don’t need a teacher to tell you what to do.”  Certainly there are lessons- the question is- Is the lesson for the children Or the teacher Or both?Free-Play_178


Is Free Play a Legitimate Lesson? | Engage for Education.


It is said that when talking to a person the information that we receive can be broken down as:

  • 10% from what the person actually says
  • 40% from the tone and speed of voice
  • 50% is from their body language.

Have you ever had a child hold your head in their hands as they talk with you?  It is certainly a strategy I have observed that communicates:  I’m interested. I’m available to listen. You can slow down, I’m here. What have you observed about the ways in which children communicate?