Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Value of Play

It seems education around the world has gone mad for testing and wanting kids to read earlier and earlier. Yes, a small percentage of four years are reading. I have a family member in that category but she is the exception not the rule. The age range for those beginning to read is very wide and getting wider. What’s the big rush! The best gift you can give a child is the gift of time and with this time hopefully comes some major time for play. Young children are learning through play! Play should not stop as children enter school. In fact, play time should be an essential part of the curriculum for children as they begin formal schooling. Play should continue through every young person’s school years. Hey, I would go so far as to say, play should also be an important part of our adult life. Now check out this video: Caine’s Arcade
I was reintroduced to the video with a blog post from Education Stormfront written by Andrew Barras. Here is the closing to his blog in titled “Caine’s Arcade – Teachers Should Watch This Video”: In this video Caine is learning the following skills: 1. Business 2. Marketing 3. Promotions 4. Math 5. Problem solving 6. Persistence 7. Creative thinking 8. Finances 9.
Things you can do with tape and cardboard. So the question you have to ask is how many of these skills will Caine learn in public school? Very few I bet. Even math will be learned in the abstract. I will wager that making this arcade will have more of an impact on his life than the 12 years he spends in a public school.

 What value do you see in play? Do you agree with the learning that Andrew Barras sees in Caine’s Arcade? Are you still playing and learning? At 73 years old I sure am!

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