*The beautiful playsilks you see in this post were gifted to me by the lovely Sarah’s Silks.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” – Fred Rogers
Once upon a time, I had no understanding nor appreciation for the message in this quote from Fred Rogers. I remember, as a new mum, thinking that it was my job to teach my children as much as I could to best prepare them for the academics they would require in formal schooling.
I frequently interrupted my children’s play with little nuggets of knowledge and wisdom to help advance their thinking. I gave them toys which recited letters and numbers so that when I wasn’t there to teach them, the toys could do it for me.
Little did I know that my interference in their play was, in actual fact, undermining the learning they were naturally pursuing. By trying to teach them these things through explicit instruction and complex toys, I was not only taking away their opportunity to learn it richly for themselves through their own discoveries, I was robbing them of the type of play time which would lay the foundations for their formal academic learning later in life.