By Mr. Ken Klenk
Marc Behoff states that “Play is training for the unexpected.” When one pauses to consider the depth of this sentiment, one realizes that play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children. At YCDS, play, exploration, and discovery are a key components in the Physical Education environment.
The way that children play has changed a great deal since I was a child. With new technology and the availability of social media and TV, children do not always opt for free play outdoors nor do they seize the opportunity for creative play with other children in communities after school. Games like Kick the Can, stickball, manhunt, spud, and many other tag games are relics of the past. Being told to “go outside and play until I call you for dinner” is not often heard these days.
Outdoor social games allow children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities. Play is also important in healthy brain development. As children master their world, play helps them develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resiliency they will need as they face future challenges. With the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, many school districts have reduced physical education time in schools and creative arts. The thinking behind this was to eliminate play and replace this with additional time for reading and mathematics.
At YCDS, we feel that time spent outside and being active helps children to focus more during their academic class time. Life easily become hectic for our children, but it is important to provide and dedicate time for play. Play is time very well spent for our students.
When was the last time you ran around outside? Today might be a good day to just that.