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.

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The Art and Science of Play | Psychology Today.

If we know that play is children’s work, how do we make that visible to others?  In making it visible, does it give play the “respect” it deserves?  Do parents understand how important this is?  Do they see the connection to further learning? If not, what can you do about it?