‘’Through play children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.’’ (Wiki – Jack Kahn, Susan Elinor)
Do you remember as a child when our parents use to say: ‘oh go on, you can play for a bit before bed time – just don’t make a mess!’ and the sheer joy we’d feel for those few moments we were allowed to play a bit of football, paint a picture, or without our parents knowledge, take freshly washed linen out of the drawers and build indoor tents (You probably got told off for that last one!). But did you know that whilst you were whizzing through your childhood with fun times you were also developing that strong self-confident persona which helped you secure that huge deal at work in your later years, and a few years before that you stood up to that awful bully at college who made your best friend cry? Yes, that’s right; you gained a huge amount of skills over the years by mischievously playing your way through life.
My favourite play time was as simple as chucking a tennis ball in the air as far as I could, and hoping my sister at the other end would not catch it. We called the game ‘Ball’. Creativity wasn’t our specialty.
However, little did I know that one of my favourite childhood games would come of use when I reached High School.
Every year, my school held a Rounders tournament and being the least athletic student in the school I wasn’t expecting to make the team. Our teacher put us through a number of rigorous tests (which I’m still recovering from 20 years on!) and to my utter surprise I was chosen as a Fielder. Who would have thought the excellent throwing and catching skills I acquired during my younger years by playing ‘Ball’ would help me be part of an elite team of athletes! I was part of the Rounders team for 3 years and each year we won the tournament.
It’s important not to disregard any type of play, even if what your child is playing does not make any sense. Every form of play equips your child with essential cognitive, social and physical skills that will be taken right through to adulthood.
At Redbrick Academy, we take play time seriously. That’s why we have carefully selected a number of fun activities and events to ensure our children are developing diverse skills for life.
- Football/Cricket – children are taught about teamwork and good sportsmanship. In addition, participating in sports also ensures children are keeping fit and healthy.
- Trips to the Science museum – children learn about science in a fun interactive way and build confidence by participating in science experiments in front of an audience
- Playing computer games – most parents may see this and think: ‘Wait, What?’ Don’t worry parents, each child is allocated 15 minutes to play a game of their choice, when their time is up the game pad is passed on to the next child. By playing computer games, children are learning the importance of sharing with one another as well as strict time-keeping skills
- Book corner – there is a designated area for children to chill and relax with a book or even have a nap on our comfy cushions to refresh themselves – it’s so important to regenerate those all-important brain cells!
- Arts and crafts – not only do children make creative pieces that go on ‘The Redbrick Wall of Art’ for the world to see, the children also learn the art of cleaning up after themselves by making sure that lids are put back on felt tips, crayons are sharpened and paint brushes washed for the next day.
- Nature walks – children learn to appreciate the beauty of nature by taking brisk walks in parks, forests and nature reserves. Going on nature walks gives children the opportunity to learn about insects, birds and animals as well as understanding the need to keep beautiful places clean by putting litter in bins.
- Cinema trips – children learn to follow instructions by adhering to the rules of the cinema e.g. sitting in one place and not talking during the movie.
- Cooking and Baking on weekends – children learn about different foods and acquire cooking and baking skills. In addition, children are taught about food hygiene such as washing hands after touching raw egg and keeping surfaces clean at all times.
- Charity fundraising – children learn about the different ways money can be raised for Charity. Children also learn about compassion and the importance of helping the poor.
- Ilm-to-Amal – this is a special course designed for children to learn about Islamic values such as the importance of having a good character, dealing with social issues, monetary issues and so much more.
As you can see we have a variety of fun filled activities and events for our children to achieve those all-important life skills. At Redbrick Academy play time is learning time…..just don’t tell the kids that!
Posted by Rena Hussain