Let the children play

A United Nations legally binding treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child incorporates respect for all children’s needs. Article 31 states that the child has the inherent right to “rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

Rituals and routines in early childhood environments are important and impart social and cultural expectations for the very young. care needs to be taken that an equal amount of emphasis, observation and encouragement to free play is given as children create their own knowledge and may not always understand or take on long term the content of structured learning.

I admire the way Aotearoa/ New Zealand’s play based child led curriculum Te Whariki is open to the different ways children and communities teach and deliver learning with children being at the centre. Let the children play; stop and think before interrupting or stopping play to move children on to different experiences, which activity will give them more fascination or more enjoyable learning? Maybe it’s the one they have devised themselves or become focused on from their own interest or curiosity.

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