I’m an advocate for play planning play activities of children of early age early childhood settings. Play isn’t a child’s only way of learning.
Play isn’t the only practice that our Early Years Learning Framework encourages educators to draw on to promote children’s learning. Educators need to have a rich repertoire of practices up their sleeves, and learning through play is only one of them. Play is, however, a powerful way of learning and a child’s right, and it’s the one I see declining in early childhood settings. I can, however, report from the trenches that the time and space for play in early childhood settings has declined.
A context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations. Maggie Dent, in “Stop Stealing Childhood”, includes the voices of parents and educators and professionals in related fields expressing similar concerns with the current state of play in Australia. Research has also shown that children are spending less time playing outdoors than at any other time in history. Planet Ark found that there has been a dramatic shift in childhood activity from outdoor play to indoor activity in the space of one generation. Many educators today are continually asked to defend the role of play to families who are asking for more academic based school readiness programs.