‘Back to School? Make Time for Play!’ The Grass Stain Guru

Fairy and flowers
A fairy takes time to smell the geraniums.

“It is becoming increasingly clear through research on the brain as well as in other areas of study, that childhood needs play. Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood.”
–Tina Bruce, Professor, London Metropolitan University

I’m at the ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) conference in Washington, D.C. this weekend, so opportunities for blogging are slim – too busy exploring wonderful restorative landscapes in the D.C. area! For updates and pictures, visit the TLN page on Facebook. So instead, I’m sharing a wonderful post by my friend Bethe Almeras, a.k.a. The Grass Stain Guru. Bethe is Director of Education & Outreach for Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play, and co-founder of the National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour®. She is a play advocate who’s not afraid to get her knees dirty, and I’m a big fan her work. I’m actually going to meet Bethe for the first time tomorrow, and I’m very excited. Grass stains, here we come!

Here’s an excerpt from The Grass Stain Guru’s post; click on the title below to link to the full version.

Back to School? Make Time to Play!

This year as you send the kids off to school, take a moment to think about their days. Their weeks. Is there enough time for play? Not sports, or after-school activities, but real honest-to-goodness play? Child-directed, child-driven free play — no rules unless they decide to cook some up.

You see, adults have this habit of thinking that soccer or gymnastics or even music lessons are play. But they’re not. They ‘re great, but they are goal driven and adult directed, which is exactly what school is. Children spend all day in school. They need to take a break and be put in the driver’s seat for awhile.

Click here to continue…