Beth, Minnesota, Oliver

The Importance of Play

Play is on the decline. It’s a fact. There are probably a number of reasons for this, but in short, kids aren’t always able to just be kids anymore. Here in MN, our Children’s Museum is working to change that, to encourage more play and show that kids can still learn through play.

I’ve been invited to be a Play Advocate for the MN Children’s Museum and I’m really excited about it. I’m passionate about play through learning, it’s one of the biggest reasons we chose Montessori for Ollie. He goes to school and plays, but he’s learning while he does it. We’ve been taking Ollie to the Children’s Museum since he was just shy of a year old and I love their approach to learning. Everything is hands on and fun, with practical application. One of his favorite spots has always been this little town that has a store with shopping carts, play food and cash registers. He loves to “shop” and he loves to play cashier.

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Last night we had an opportunity to attend a special event for Play Advocates after the museum closed for the day. We enjoyed time in the new Forces at Play exhibit which uses various elements such as water and air to power things. We also had a chance to hear about the big changes coming the museum soon. They are undergoing a major renovation to expand and bring more exhibits and foster even more play through learning. It’s all very exciting, the bummer is that this weekend they’ll be shutting down the museum for four months while they finish up the construction. Thankfully there is a Pop-Up Children’s Museum down at the Mall of America, so I think we’ll be spending some time there this winter!

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I’m really glad to be part of this program, not only to spread the word about the importance of play, but to also learn more ways we can encourage play through learning at home. Kids are only kids for so long. I want Ollie to have his childhood as long as he possibly can.

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8 thoughts on “The Importance of Play”

  1. I LOVE our local Children’s Museum. It’s so crazy how different childhood is from when I was growing up–play was all we did/had! These pictures of Ollie are just adorable! His eyes are full of wonder!

  2. This is a great piece and a great mindset. *Unstructured* play is so important–and it seems that activities geared towards children are more and more structured every year (looking at you, youth sports). The kind of exploration that comes with play is so vital.

    1. YES. I think structured play is a big part of it, the standardized testing that comes at a younger age every year along with hours of homework and also the number of distractions available to kids (technology is grand, but it isn’t everything.)
      Beth recently posted…The Importance of PlayMy Profile

  3. My grandparents (who turned 91 this year) always give us a cheque and ask us to their Christmas shopping g for them, for our little family. Usually we put it towards something we need for the house but always put off buying because of cost (good bookshelves, etc). But this year, I said enough is enough, and we have enough. So this year, especially since I will be home with the girls for a year, we decided to put it towards memberships for a number of different museums and attractions in the city. We won’t be getting all the memberships every year (especially once M is old enough to have to pay to get in!) but it’s a good opportunity to get out of the house, support these organizations and see which ones we take advantage of the most! I do find in my sleep deprived state it’s much easier to put on the TV for C than to get down at play with her. It’s a shame and I look forward to when my energy levels are up a bit higher and we can wean her off TV and really focus on play!
    Cara recently posted…In Defense of the EpiduralMy Profile

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