My Connections to Play
If I were to consider myself as a five year old child, I would ask my best friends Karen to play with me in the Science Lab, but after we explored in the Science Lab, we would walk over to the Art Lab and use paint and colored construction paper to paint what we did and saw when we explored. I love Science and being able to use/ touch a wide range of materials i.e., pine cones, bugs, seeds, soil, and even using magnets and metal materials to see if they attract to the magnet is exciting to me, because I see a lot of these same materials in my everyday life and because I am able to use them in school, I have a better understanding of its purpose in my everyday life.
However, I am supposed to document what I saw in my lab and I hate writing with pencils; I am happy my teacher allows the class to use all writing materials to express ourselves freely. As a result, Karen, and I walk over to the Art Lab and used paint brushes and different colored paint, to paint what we did/saw in Science Lab, we even painted pictures of ourselves using magnifying glasses, and a microscope. Since this was my first time using a microscope, I did ask my teacher to assist us because we did not know how to magnify objects, and we needed help placing the slide onto the clips. I am happy my teacher never tells me to stay in one lab, she allows everyone to explore freely and we can use all of the classroom materials to write, draw, or paint how we feel or what we did in our learning labs.
As a future artist and scientist, I included a picture of my best friend Karen because I enjoy talking to her and sharing ideas, I included paint and a paint brush, and a picture of my teacher helping children in the Science Lab use the materials. Although I am five years old, I have developed a passion for the arts and science because I can be creative and use my imagination; even if Karen isn’t there, I pretend I have an imaginary friend playing with me (Alman, 2002). My teacher provides all students with a wide range of materials and she always assists us in using materials older students use; my mother always says she likes my teacher because she introduces use to new materials, vocabulary words and allows us to work collaboratively to share ideas. And as a result, my family has become more involved in my education because they ask me questions related to what I am learning in school, and we don’t just sit around and talk, my parents take me outside and we go on nature walks and run and play outside (Ginsburg, 2008).
I feel play is different from the way I played when I was a child and even my son who is now 13. Technology wasn’t as available to me when I was growing up. In fact we didn’t have computers, we used typewriters, and children were not allowed to use them. Today, my students have period dedicated to technology, and they are allowed to use lap tops during learning labs to play developmentally appropriate games that are engaging and interactive. In addition, I feel play is a healthy way for children to learn because all activities are hands on and children are allowed to be creative, and use their imagination. However, I would like to see children spend more time engaging in physical play; there is a huge obesity epidemic in our country that wasn’t as prevalent when I was a child. Children should be able to play simple games such as jacks for hand and eye coordination and many children have no idea what this game is.
My best friend Karen Paint and brushes Teacher explaining how to use a microscope
Almon, K. (2002). The vital role of play in early childhood education. Retrieved from http://www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org/pdf/BAPlayAlmon.pdf
Kohn, A. (2008). Progressive education: Why it’s hard to beat, but also hard to find. Retrieved from http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/progressive.htm