Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do we let them play enough?

As a kindergarten teacher it is often difficult to find the balance between too little and too much play. I can definitely see the benefits of play in my classroom and love my housekeeping area, my block section and reading corner for the students to use their imaginations. It is incredible how much they can learn from those free play moments. More and more primary classrooms are removing all of the play areas in their classrooms to make room for more literacy and math centers as we have begun the transition to common core standards and a required 90 minute literacy block. I think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that they are coming to us as five year olds and creative and imaginary play is still a very large part of their world. Are we stifling that too soon?
This article addresses those issues briefly. The Value of Play 


  1. I felt very bad the other day when one of my first graders asked "Are we going to play now?" Nope, we have much to get done. Tomorrow, will I let them play?

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  2. Angela, I love this article and couldn't agree more! When I taught Kindergarten, my teaching partner and I were determined to allow our students free play each day - we had a kitchen, building and blocks area, and many kid-friendly toys for them to explore, use their imaginations, and just be kids! Kids need play and learn through play. Thank you for sharing this article!


  3. One of my fondest memories as a young child was attending Mrs. Robinson's playschool. The group was intimate with a low number of students, my mom recalled it have 12-14 students. Anyways, it was the year before I attended half day kindergarten. The primary focus of playschool was to provide a place where children could learn, socialize, and play. Daily we were acting in plays, role playing and learning by experiencing.
    If our current setting is allowing for growth that supersedes what we were doing then I will be on board. Here comes the dilema...we are in my opinion too many years out to really demonstrate that what we are using really makes a positive difference in the growth. Are student scores higher now compared to students that attended half day kindergarten?
    Again, I question why are we spending so much time developing one side of the brain? Might the solutions and new creations we seek and need come from the "other side"?

  4. I also taught kindergarten for 9 years during the start of my career in the late 70's and I was responsible for all day by day decisions for a half day program. I remember back then having a lot to accomplish by 11:15am dismissal. The fine arts etc was my responsibility as well as all academics. YIKES! One year I had 29 children in one classroom. Currently my granddaughter is attending a private half day program with an enrollment of 19 children with limited fine arts. It will be interesting to see how she does academically in being in a half day program verses all day.

    A half day schedule didn't allow as much flexibility verses the full day program many children are now attending. I do remember it was a pretty rigid structure program in those days. We did do a lot of creative work with guidelines, but I don't remember that centers were a hot item until I opened my own childcare center. In obtaining a directorship for 100 children, we did have safety regulations, but I do remember we had play centers etc. for the kiddos and plenty of free play and exploration.