A Child’s Occupation is to Play
Play is how your child discovers and learns about the world. This is how we gain competence in our surroundings, and mastery over ourselves. During unstructured play when no one else is guiding their actions and behaviors, children learn to direct themselves.
Children learn through play
Our nervous systems are much better able to integrate knowledge through our bodies, until the ripe old of age of nine or so. That is why recess is so important: The slide and the swing actually help your child discern directions in space for motor planning and handwriting. Highly structured curricula with little time for play actually makes education get ‘in the way’ of learning–to very loosely paraphrase Mark Twain.
In sensory integration, the goal for a child is to joyfully explore their surroundings.
Problems become evident when children are unable to initiate, explore or complete play activities in satisfying ways. For specific resources on understanding children who have sensitivities, which impact their interactions and learning, refer to our Book Store.
Play is so effective because we experience joy in learning. Nothing else is as intrinsically motivating as pure …Joy!
I have had the privilege of witnessing many children transcend their limitations almost miraculously, in that sheer moment of Joy–simply because it was FUN! Fun is their currency–I say we should learn a few things from them, don’t you?
As adults we are certainly more empowered to move beyond our comfort zones, when motivated by…Joy. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget where that lies for us. Maybe we could let our children remind us.
The fact that play is self initiated is extremely important in discovering our passion, in ‘following our bliss’ as Joseph Campbell would say,
The fire of our passion ignites creation that creation becomes our contribution to the world.
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