Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Issue of Play

Do you ever read something, like an article, and then think about other things you've read that respond to it, argue against it, support it? I do, maybe because the issues important to me are so few and I read infrequently.

Today's Washington Post has an article, Kids' Game or Animal Instinct?, about play -- animals playing, humans playing -- and why its important. Of course, I love these articles because I always find support in them for my homeschooling decision. Do I need justification or do I just post these things in hopes that someone understands me? Dunno, don't care; posting to my blog keeps me off the streets.

In light of concerns about homeschooled children getting socialization, I found this particularly interesting:

So important is play in learning how to fit in with others that some studies -- of orphans tied to cribs or kittens deprived of play -- show that they are more likely to become social misfits.

There was some study that came out of Stanford months ago that suggested that kids in daycare may suffer from lack of social skills. Interesting, you'd think they would play a lot in daycare, maybe they are tied to their cribs? Dunno.

The other article I think of as I read about the importance of play are articles about schools and the battle over getting a minimum amount of recess time set as county policy. Shrinking recess in elementary school really upsets me -- kids need to run and play. Oh well, I've addressed that problem in my family, recess lasts the entire day.

Finally, have I ever mentioned that Mr. unclimber read Jonathan Frazen's The Corrections a couple of years ago and always comments on the parallels between the educational system and prisons?


h said...

Since any creature with a brain bigger than a pea will play, it seems like people ought to realize it must be vitally important. Even if biologists can't always explain why.

Last year my parents watched a bird slide down their barn roof on the snow, flap back up to the ridge at the top and slide down again. The bird did this several times. It turns out lots of birds are known to play.

And we put a bubble wand in our fish tank the other day, and I swear to you, the fish are in there playing. They chase each other through the full length of the bubble shower, shoot through the rock tunnel, and repeat.

Not to mention kittens, puppies, tiger cubs, etc, where we know play is vital to development.

Not to give kids hours of time to play every day is to thumb one's nose at nature, in my opinion.

Marjorie said...

Thanks for you comment, h, I like your examples. Sliding down the barn roof sounds like fun!