Play is Serious Learning
There is a four letter word that relates to learning, and depending on your level of understanding, this word can spark a positive or negative reaction. Play for children is learning. Fred Rogers has a well-known quote to this fact,
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
At Omaha Children’s Museum, our commitment to “creating excitement about learning” as stated in our mission, takes play very seriously as a building block to learning and education.
I came across a recent article citing the one skill our children will need in order to be prepared for the jobs of the future. You can read the full article here https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/09/skills-children-need-work-future-play-lego.
This quote stood out to me in the article,
“A study in New Zealand compared children who learned how to read at age five with those who learned at age seven. When they were 11 years old, both sets of children displayed the same reading ability. But the children who only learned how to read at age seven actually showed a higher comprehension level. One of the explanations is that they had more time to explore the world around them through play.”
Built into the visitor experience at Omaha Children’s Museum are multiple ways to encourage children to engage their imaginations, find creative ways to approach a task and let them get excited about the learning that is developing through the safe, playful environment created just for them. If we are concerned at all about our future workforce, we can become stronger advocates for supporting the natural, developmental tendencies for children to learn through play and encourage a slowing down for those who have a race for knowledge.