Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lets talk about Play

Children use play to understand their world. They set up a scenario to work out the details of something they may not quite understand. They choose roles and then they act it out. Sometimes it's silly stuff they see on TV. Other times it is real life situations and issues. 

It makes sense that you can see what things are occurring in the children's lives by watching them play. Professionals have used children's art and play to determine if there is stress, issues or dysfunction. Play is important for children and can be diagnostic.

I notice play is changing. My son asks my daughter if she would like to take a test. He draws something on the page and asks her to tell him what it is. She will tell him what the picture is and he will tell her she is wrong. He will identify the picture by the color. 

“ No, It's blue.” 

The questions change but the outcome is always the same.

 “No your answers are not correct.” 

 The target keeps changing so there is no pattern to follow and no way to get the right answer. It's clear the answer changes after she has answered.  The answer changes to insure she will not get it right. This game is similar to the “impossible quiz” on line my students love to take. If you would like to give it a try you can find it at addicting games.

Remember children use play to grapple with difficult situations. Why are the children playing these type of games? What are they mimicking to try to understand? It's clear to me they are attempting to manage the stress of the high stakes testing  The pressure from testing is affecting children in so many ways including play. The outcome is a weaker more narrowed education and stressed kids. Could we please consider the warning signs?

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