In recent weeks I have outlined the importance of interaction with fellow students and adults within our community to strengthen a child’s social, emotional and language skills. These interactions help shape a part of the whole child.
Another important, albeit quite different, aspect of shaping the whole child is encouraging independent play and discovery. This is learning that is directed by the child and their interests and free from adult instruction and interaction. Learning how to play independently takes time and guidance from trusted adults.
In the Kangaroo Class we practise independent play and discovery on a daily basis, both indoors and out. During these moments you will find some children looking through books by themselves; others acting out a home scene in the role play house; others creating a small world with blocks or tracks; and some children wondering around looking at what their peers are engaged in. All of these activities are worthy and valuable and offer an insight into the level of independence the children have already developed.
Independent play and discovery is an important component of development. It allows children to delve deeper into areas of learning that interest them; it helps children begin to understand how they learn best; it develops confidence; and it strengthens their imagination and creativity. It is important to note that as an adult promoting independent play, there is often a bit of “I’m bored” to get through before the child’s imagination kicks in and true engagement takes place…but it is worth it!
Ms. Domine Brown
Nursery 1B Homeroom Teacher