Children need opportunities to interact and mix with different cultures, ages, and ability in the areas where they live. We can provide safe environments for them to have free play.
We can model joining in and help children to settle and feel comfortable. Some children need help at getting started. Being playful ourselves can also encourage play without getting too involved. The tricky bit is finding a balance we mustn’t over supervise or over protect or we take away the child’s free choice and the very thing that makes their behaviour play.
Children’s play is often chaotic frantic and noisy, and children’s play spaces are often messy, and disordered. We need to understand that children’s play spaces do not look like adult spaces. We need to be tolerant of mess and dirt!
We can support children’s play by providing loose parts and rejecting commercialism. Playing in a space rich with loose parts supports a wide range of development including flexibility, creativity, imagination, resourcefulness, problem solving, self-esteem and spatial awareness.
We know the importance of play. We must promote play by allowing sufficient flexibility, unpredictability and security for children to play freely.