The importance of play
Play is where it’s at for kids, from the exploratory play of toddlers to the complex games enjoyed by teens. At every age and stage, play gives children a wonderful way to explore new ideas, develop their skills, work through anxiety or stress, and entertain or calm themselves.
Marc Battle, an ECE professor at Winnipeg’s Red River College, assures us that there is no “right” way to play: “We had these great big industrial cardboard tubes at our daycare, and I was watching the kids play with them. The older kids, the five- and six-year-olds, were doing very complex ramping with them, piling them up in great big sets of stairs and running cars down them, stuff like that. The toddlers and three-year-olds would grab those same tubes and whack them against things — against the shelf, against the stairs, against another kid sometimes. They were still at the stage of just exploring the materials. So what each age group took out of the same plaything was completely different — and completely right for them.”