Play! just play…

I have been meeting the most wonderful RECE’s in my new adventure; not only here in Windsor-Essex, but across Ontario. The excitement to stay connected with current information and knowledge and to network with each other is contagious. The understanding that they are so important in the brain development of the children they care for, through caring and nurturing relationships and the realization that they truly can make a difference in the lives of the children AND their families.

In pouring through the Early Learning For Every Child Today or ELECT aka OELF ( how can a document have so many names? ) we are on a journey of self-reflection that leads us back to where we started; Play, just play! As you may have seen on my Facebook page (Nature of Kids) there are so many articles and videos that offer support in helping parents and other professionals realize the value of true play supported, not prescribed, by an understand adult. To join in, and not just to watch, means that we can hear the wonder in the questions and the “aha” in the discovery of the most magical but simple things this world has to offer. Also, the importance of play outdoors, is supported by more and more research. We have been avoiding outdoor play on many counts: too dirty, too cold, raining, snowing, and so on….. the things that children love! Dr. Willy Krauthammer, Neuropediatrician has observed that there is no sign of children with ADHD in those who attend the Forest Kindergartens in Switzerland. A miracle? I think not! Reconnect children with nature and outdoor play, where their brains can learn and “work” in a way that they cannot do indoors.

Spring is upon us; the wonder in a mud puddle; the new growth of the season; worms to be picked, seeds to be planted, birds to watch…Let’s get out there and enjoy some Play, just play. Ask the parents to send their children to the centre in dark coloured play clothes and let them know ” your child will learn a lot today, and they will get dirty; I promise!”