Recently I read an article about the shocks that Kindergarteners go through when they enter Grade 1. Now, no matter where you are in the world, and what you call your grades, the story is usually the same. As soon as “formal schooling”starts, we replace toys with books and often, fun with drill. Education is serious, after all.
What amazes me is the fact that I know sooooo many adults who love to play. Computer games, sports and generally they have a great sense of fun. Most of us work in jobs we enjoy, we have fun at work.
Why is it then, that a lot of students don’t have fun at school?
I am not an expert on play, but I know that letting kids play occasionally, even in Grade 3, is exciting and informative. They develop a variety of skills, esp. social skills. I love observing the 11 students in my class engaging in a session of Lego. The usual “boundaries” are broken down, boys and girls play together, shy students become leaders and everyone gets to share and implement their ideas. Play is probably the one area where true collaboration happens, and we need to make time for it.
So why do we replace toys with “serious stuff”? Why don’t we make more time for play?