After School Club Manager (P4-7), Wendy Keniston, tells us why it's time to play.
Children’s play habits have changed dramatically over the last few decades due in part to shifting attitudes towards 'risk' conbined with the commercialisation of play and in particular to the influence of screen-based entertainment. It's possible that this revolution in the way children spend their time, and the spread of new technology, is changing the very nature of childhood.
There is however, a growing recognition, amongst childcare professionals, of the value of play and the positive impact that freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated play, has on a child’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development.
In recent years, we've seen an explosion of research and new 'best-practice' centred on learning through play in the Early Years but, when it comes to older children, the importance of 'play' is often still downgraded in favour of more structured and adult led activities.
Opportunities for children to play freely are increasingly rare and leisure time is increasingly structured leaving little time for the type of self-initiated play which helps children to develop resilience, encourages a spirit of adventure and which excites curiosity.
In our e-Plus provision for children from Primary 4 - Primary 7, which includes a holiday club available right through the summer holidays, we’re bringing back 'play' for the children in our care and parents are welcome to come along and see what that looks like for themselves.
Call 0131 311 1144 for more information.
Wendy obtained her B.Ed (Primary) in 1994 and has been in charge of After School and Holiday Club at ESMS since 1997. She recently completed her Professional Development Award in Childhood Practice and continues to pioneer advances in play theory and outdoor play at ESMS.