One of my goals is to allow participants of my workshops the opportunity to reconnect with their playful selves, because, like Elkind (2007), I believe that “play is not a luxury but rather a crucial dynamic of healthy physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all age levels” (pg. 4). I appreciate the idea that Elkind (2007) puts forth that, along with work and love, play is essential in the development of a satisfying and fulfilling life. In all of the years that I dedicated to studying the growth and development of children, I have come to realize that in the process I have come to understand the growth and development of HUMANS. It is great to see Elkind (2007) describe play as it relates to the stages we typically see in our study of development (infancy, early childhood, the elementary school years) as well as to the years of adolescence and adulthood. It is my hope for both the children and the adults that I teach to be engaged, life-long learners. I attempt to inspire this in all of them by generating the understanding that “learning is the product of play-generated experiences” (Elkind, 2007, pg. 103).
Elkind, D. (2007). The power of play: How spontaneous, imaginative activities lead to happier, healthier children. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Lifelong.