“What did you do at school today?”, I ask my child. “PLAY!”
If you feel that all your child does in school is play, that’s actually a good thing! When it comes to children’s play, there’s more than meet the eye (of us adults).
- Play is fun. Play should be something / a process that is enjoyable, something your child wants to do, and something that brings you joy and happiness. Joy and happiness are associated with the release of dopamine and serotine. Both of these hormones benefit the children in terms of learning, memory, overall sense of wellbeing. People who are depressed are known to have lower levels of serotine.
- Play is communicative and collaborative. When children play together, they share ideas and materials to make their play experience fun. They communicate their ideas (verbal and non-verbal) and learn how negotiate. These are essential social skills necessary in the real world. Does this not sound like how it would be like in the adult world? Yes, so let’s start them young.
- Play is exploratory and creative. Did you know that the colourful and varied types of post-it notes we now use is a result of someone’s mistake? Thanks to a failed glue, we have an adhesive that does not stick! Play offers children a safe environment to problem solve and find solutions for the challenges they face. If it does not work, try again! As children try repeatedly, the rate of success improves, and this in turn build children’s confidence.
So when your child says they PLAY at school, you’ve chosen the right school!
Serina Teo, Curriculum Specialist