Many articles are out there on the benefits of playing as a way to learn. One website, the Alliance for Childhood, lists several researchers, articles, videos, and even conferences, all encouraging young children to play, and in many cases, to play more. Even people from several countries agree.; Wales and Brussels in particular are mentioned on the AC website.
We recently spoke with a soon-to-be Texas public school teacher and mother of school children who told us that their school district is taking a field trip to the Netherlands to explore this very notion. It appears that the Netherlands are now the top-ranking country in the world for best-performing students. Their explanation – they incorporate plenty of playtime at school. In the lower grade levels, students play between every subject. In fact, the go outside to play, getting the added benefits of fresh air and sunshine.
Sound familiar, Baby Boomers? This adage was once common in America too, but somehow lost its appeal. Unfortunately that lack of plenty of fresh air and sunshine, combined with a lots of play, is one of the factors that has led to the current demise of the American educational system.
What’s YOUR take on this? What do you know about the amount of time spent playing vs. “in the books”?