Guest Post: Play Matters
My husband and I have resolved to have more fun with our kids in 2012. We've found that we have a tendency to let the stress of our day-to-day lives interfere with having fun every single day (no matter what). As part of that plan, we are focusing more on playing together as a family. I am trying to spend more time on the carpet building LEGO towers and playing bingo. More play. More fun. When I was approached by a representative of Sharp As A Tack, a new organization in the city focusing on "play with a purpose," I was intrigued. I invited Caryn Lichtenberg, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Sharp As A Tack to share some thoughts on the importance of play and what her organization is doing to help, kids and educators play purposefully. A former kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 7th grade teacher, Caryn knows that play is important at all ages and stages. At Sharp As A Tack, she hopes to spread innovative thinking, imagination, and a sense of wonder. Here is what Caryn has to say about the role of play in learning. ------ You don’t need to ask a child what their favorite part of school is to know the answer. It’s recess, of course. Children love to play and they might know something about their brains that schools have forgotten. Play matters. In fact, our brains need play to practice and strengthen key academic and life skills such as problem solving, working memory, and empathy. ...