Play Scan: The effects of our actions Lucy Thornton Director: Woz’obona
Overview of presentation Defining Play The Value of Play Decisions we Make – Political – Economic – Social – Environment Effects on Play Why should you bother?
What is Play? Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated (Make time to Play Campaign, A world without Play) As we move to facilitate, organise and formalise, care needs to be taken that we as adults do not rob children of choices, personal directing and ‘doing it for the fun of it’. Through play learning does not have to be forced to happen, it happens by itself.
The value of play ‘Play is crucial to children’s healthy development and quality of life’ (Foley 2008 p.6). Without play, a child’s ability to develop and function effectively in the world is at best impaired and at worst as good as impossible’ (Hubbuck 2009, p127).
The value of play Playful children are happier, better adjusted, more co-operative, and more popular with their peers than those who play less. ‘Opportunities for spontaneous play may be the only requirement that young children need to increase their physical activity.’ Dietz (2001).
The value of play ‘Time spent playing is the natural arena for forming friendships, finding soul-mates and negotiating relationships’ (Casey 2010 pxi). Through play children express and work out emotional aspects of everyday experiences, exploring their feelings and finding ways of expressing themselves (Open University).
Why is this an issue? Today play is an endangered species It is endangered by the decisions we make and actions we take – Politically – Socially – Economically – Environmentally
Political Decisions/Actions Resource allocation and subsequent use results from political decisions. Minimising opportunities and time for play in schools is a political decision. The size and location of spaces for play in our communities is often determined by the politics at play in local government.
Political Decisions/Actions: South African National Budget 2008/2009
Social Decisions/Actions The height and width of wall we build around our homes is a social decision. The size of play space inside our homes is a social decision. Whether we allow our children free play or impose our ideas of what they should be doing with their time is a social decision. Whether we allow our children free exploration and discovery activities is a social decision.
Connect the dots between child participation and child protection Society protects and shelters children Children can protect themselves and reach out Child protection Child participation Play is the vehicle we use to take children from the place where they are sheltered and protected to the place where they interact confidently with their world.
Economic Decisions/Actions Urbanisation is squeezing out play spaces and opportunities. The more commercialised play is, the more exclusive play becomes. Play is becoming less physical and less social. As families become wealthier they spend more on toys and children become less likely to explore, discover, create their own activities and even make their own playthings. We spend funds on child protection but not on play, failing to see the connection between them.
Environmental Decisions/Actions Increasingly we generate more waste than we can safely dispose of. We seek to leave some wealth for our children, but not an opportunity for them to earn their own wealth
The effects of all these … Poor performance in education – We failed to stimulate them early on Violent nation – We fail to pass critical values of patience, respect for others, waiting your turn, accepting defeat… “I am all that matters syndrome” – We fail to socialise and build team spirit in the early years
The effects of all these… We spend a fortune on correctional and rehabilitative programs – We fail to instil self discipline and self-restraint early We are a nation that is largely dependent on state welfare – We fail to inspire dreams and desire for success early
So why should you bother? You are equally concerned about the observable effects around us You have some role or influence on some of these decisions You are also part of the generation to which children and their successors are looking to with expectation you have a role to play and a responsibility to discharge you are also searching for answers
It is not all lost…. The solution lies in the basics that we have chosen to put aside The solution is cost effective and affordable The solution is within reach That solution is…