The Business of Play:: Involve Them and They will Learn

INVOLVE-THEM-AND-THEY-WILL-LEARN Benjamin Franklin once said;

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.

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This week we had our first snow in three years and as my boys explored the world of snow and ice I was struck anew by this basic principle – involve them and they will learn.

It isn’t a complicated process. Fill their heads with good ideas, let them ask questions, and leave them be to explore.

As we played in the snow I watched as they puzzled over how strong the iced over puddles actually were – at first cautiously with sticks, and then boldly with their feet. {which broke the ice.}

I watched them discover where icicles formed, and marvel over the shape {and the taste!}

I watched as they tried to roll large snowballs, but the type of snow made it impossible to get anything of significant size easily.

I watched as one got a bit of snow stuck on his cheek and minutes later came to me, complaining about something “biting” his cheek.

These little moments were all simply parts of children playing and marveling in a rare weather occurrence. And yet, these little moments happen all of the time in every day situations and they feed the opportunity to teach. There is an opportunity that involves them in a process of learning that goes deep because they have been a part of the experience. While they go about the business of playing we can be about the business of observing as how to best involve them in this process of learningThere are opportunities that present themselves in play that can – and should! – be taken advantage of with care and in calculated measures. 

And maybe while they are in the height of excitement, rolling and playing in the snow, it is not the time to explain the different types of snow – but following up later with a simple explanation based on their experience will start to build this foundation, and it can be added to with additional facts and stories as time passes. Always coming back to their hands on experience to help them connect how it relates to what they already understand.

Some of our fun in the snow;
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Jessica Lynette

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