The Importance of Creative Play

bjorn lie; play

photo by Bjorn Lie, May 17, 2015, New York Times

Earlier this week, a friend of mine posted a New York Times article on Facebook titled, “Let the Kids Learn Through Play.” I was excited to read the article and want to share it with my readers.

One of the learning objectives that you will see consistently repeated in the lessons and projects I create is “creative play.” I often get asked questions from parents of students in my 5-10 year old art class like, “was he supposed to make it look like this?” or, “how is she doing for her age?” or, “will you be doing any formal drawing lessons with them?” I am constantly reassuring parents that their kids are having fun, they are exploring, learning new vocabulary, concepts, and techniques, and that is what is most important at their age level. At such a young age, it is important that children get the opportunity to play and explore. As adults we must not be concerned with student artwork looking like adult artwork, and rather appreciate and celebrate the honest and pure recording of the child’s experience.

Allowing creative exploration and play is so important to becoming confident with the process of play, which in return is developing integral 21st Century skills such as experimentation, creative problem-solving, and innovation. The imagination is a powerful brain function that separates us as humans from the majority of the animal kingdom. Imagine schools that foster our future generations’ ample time to dream, explore, experiment, investigate, create, discover, and play…what sort of future would they be able to develop? Seems that anything would be possible…

Let the Kids Learn Through Play



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blog portrait_thumbnail3hi! i’m trish, and welcome to my cozy home on the internet. i am an artist, art teacher, life-long-learner, and lover of life. there is not much i don’t love. some of my many favorites include creating with my hands, the color green, birds, smiling, and outdoor adventures. some of my not so favorite things include spiders, bell peppers, and math. (more...)

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