The Importance of Play

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At the Children's Meetinghouse, we believe in play! As Fred (Mr.) Rogers once said, "Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” We honor the importance of play in our children's daily school experience. Educational research shows that young children develop their creative, intellectual, social, and physical potentials from engaging in active play.  

As we welcome a new school year, please take a moment to consider that when one, two, three, four, and five-year-olds are playing," they are doing exactly what they are meant to do!

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"Just Playing"

 

When I am building in the block room,
Please don’t say I’m “Just Playing.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play,
About balance and shapes.


Who knows, I may be an architect someday.

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When I am getting all dressed up,
Setting the table, caring for the babies,

Don’t get the idea I’m “Just Playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I may be a Mother or a Father one day.

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When you see me up to my elbows in paint
or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay,
Please don't let me hear you say, "I am just playing".
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm expressing myself and being creative.


I may be an artist or an inventor someday. 

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When you see me sitting in a chair
“Reading” to an imaginary audience,

Please don’t laugh and think I’m “Just Playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.


I may be a teacher someday.

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When you see me combing the bushes for bugs,
Or packing my pockets with choice things I find,

Don’t pass it off as “Just Play.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.


I may be a scientist someday.

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When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some
“plaything” at my school,
Please don’t feel that time is wasted in “Play.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to solve problems and concentrate.


I may be in business some day.

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When you see me cooking or tasting foods,
Please don’t think that because I enjoy it, it is “Just Play.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to follow directions and see differences.


I may be a chef someday.

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When you see me learning to skip, hop, run, and move my body,
Please don’t say I’m “Just Playing.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning how my body works.


I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.

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When you ask me what I’ve done at school today,
And I say, I “Just played.”

Please don’t misunderstand me.
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I’m learning to enjoy and be successful at my work,
I’m preparing for tomorrow.

Today, I am a child and my work is play.

 

[Anita Wadley]