Families at Play

Families are made of teachers and learners.

Although parents are often quick to think of themselves in the role of the teacher, anyone who has children discovers very quickly that children teach us some of our most important lessons.  Many of my most humbling moments have come from lessons that my children have taught me.  Creating a balance of the teacher/learner dynamic within a family is one of the key elements in creating a trusting, loving, joyful family experience.

I returned to the classroom seven years ago, after spending 8 years on maternity leave with my family.  Coming back into the classroom meant bringing a new perspective and approaching things differently than I had in the past.  I had always been a big advocate of including parents in the classroom, but now my mission had become to provide them the kind of experience I would dream of for my own children.  So, I began sharing.  I shared not just what we were doing in the classroom, but why.  I shared resources, ideas, links, photos, activities, recipes, questions, and research to support our choices with young children.  I trusted parents as partners in our journey of guiding children, and I connected with them just as I would with my colleagues and other professionals. Nurturing a child in the classroom, meant nurturing the family as a whole beyond the walls of our school.

 

 I strongly believe that the process of learning should be organic, purposeful, and transparent.

When I set out to create a blog focused on innovating play, I knew it had to be a place that included families.  Although you may hear some "teacher talk" on some of the posts, my message is universal.  It is for everyone dedicated to protecting and elevating childhood.  Here are some tips for embracing our journey of innovating play as a family:

Prioritize free play!  Allow your children blocks of time to imagine, explore, and discover.  No tech necessary for this part...the simpler the better.  Remember to let your big kids play too!
Play together & Play alone!  Enjoy your time creating and imagining with your child, but don't forget to step back and allow your child to be independent.
Document it!  This blog is dedicated to sharing ways to document play so that children can reflect and share with others.  Watch for ideas in upcoming posts.
Become digital citizens together!  Using our Twitter hashtag #innovatingplay, create posts to share your child's play experience.  See the post on Digital Citizens at Play for more information on safe and respectful connecting and collaborating.
Share it forward!  Tell other families and friends about your experiences with play.  Start a dialogue and keep it going.  Let's go global as we redefine and elevate the experience of play for our children.
 
Heart & Soul,

Jessica