Saturday, January 8, 2011

Play Is the Way

Have you seen the article "Want to Get Your Kids into College? Let Them Play" on It's been making the rounds among blogs and Twitter. In that article, the authors equated skills needed for success in college with skills gained from play in the preschool years.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from that article:

"One of the best predictors of school success is the ability to control impulses. Children who can control their impulse to be the center of the universe, and -- relatedly -- who can assume the perspective of another person, are better equipped to learn."

"Through play, children learn to take turns, delay gratification, negotiate conflicts, solve problems, share goals, acquire flexibility, and live with disappointment. By allowing children to imagine walking in another person's shoes, imaginative play also seeds the development of empathy, a key ingredient for intellectual and social-emotional success."

"For a five year-old, this connection begins and ends with the creating, questioning, imitating, dreaming, and sharing that characterize play. When we deny young children play, we are denying them the right to understand the world."

I often tell other teachers that play is the child's job, his work. It's how he discovers how the world works. It's how he learns to interact with others. It's the best way to understanding.

I am so glad I can encourage and participate in children's play. And now I can tell others that I teach "college preparatory" classes!


  1. Thank you for this post. I am checking out this article...right now!

  2. Donna commented:

    t was an interesting article Scott and those words have stuck with me too! Oh and I like your thinking ... "College Preparatory Facilitator" ... Yep that would certainly look impressive on my little C.V. THAT is for sure! ;)
    Donna :) :)

    (Sorry, Donna. Your comment wouldn't post on the blog.)

  3. Hey thanks for looking out for me Scott!
    Donna :)

  4. It makes me so happy to see the mainstream media finally taking play seriously. It's so important. Thanks for the post, Scott!

  5. What a fantastic article! Just last night I was reading an article in Newsweek about the Creativity Crisis in America. Play needs to be valued at home and in the classroom. It is so important for so many life skills, creative problem solving, social skills, fine-motor. Thanks for the post!!