I remember reading an article written by Dr. Stuart Brown about something he uncovered in his research on murderers. He found that there was a shocking connection in killers’ upbringing : a lack of play in childhood. His continued research unearthed the discovery that there is a strong correlation between success and playful activity.
I’ve always had an interest in how play impacts our psychological and emotional wellbeing and this article piqued my interest even further. I discovered that Dr Brown had founded a National Institute of Play located in Carmel Valley, CA. How exciting! Imagine an entire organization focused on researching the importance of play.
Here at the Children’s Workshop where I work in Warren RI, we have the luxury of enjoying a large playground area that includes a brand new jungle gym, a sandbox, a basketball hoop and an in ground pool surrounded by a lovely, grassy area. We’ve had fun creating flower and vegetable gardens, cooked up many culinary treats and learned how to dance like Michael Jackson. I love that one of the tenets of our curriculum involves ‘playing to learn’. I find nothing more satisfying then to encourage and instigate a safe environment where children are allowed the freedom to engage in structured and unstructured play time.
With all the pressures of children’s scholastic activities, over scheduling, and obesity, the need for children to enjoy play is an essential component of their well being. Play is a preparation that creates a secure environment to prepare children for adulthood. Play is serious business as it helps children learn and rehearse skills needed for the rest of their lives.
Well enough of this serious business, I’m going out to play!
Dawn has been a a Teacher at the Children's Workshop in Warren, RI since 2011. She enjoys creating a safe space for the infants to play, learn and grow. She is passionate about honoring and respecting each child's individuality and uniqueness. Dawn loves to dance! West Coast swing is her favorite dance. Her life long goal is to continue making the world a happy place to live.