“Play” Isn’t a Four-Letter Word

How do children learn through play?

Children are naturally driven to learn about and understand their world. From the moment they are born, their mission is to grow in every way: physically, emotionally, and cognitively. As parents, our goal is to support and encourage that growth. But as we work to help our children grow, there’s one thing we might not consider as critical to their learning: play.

As a recent New York Time article shows, free play is critical for a child’s cognitive and social development. Children use all kinds of imaginative play–not just time with toys–to explore, experiment with, and define their world.

“Play is not a specific activity, it’s an approach to learning, an engaged, fun, curious way of discovering your world,” Dr. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, a professor of applied psychology at New York University who studies play and learning in babies and young children, told the New York Times.

The article goes on to cite statistics that report children have little or no time to play at school. Not at Willow. This way of learning is honored and cherished at Willow, both during class time and ample free play time. From preschool through eighth grade, our students learn in an environment that encourages play, exploration, and hands-on experience. This environment allows for self-motivated, playful learning that creates a love for learning that lasts as children grow.

Come see this learning up close by scheduling a tour or attending an upcoming learning celebration! Contact Willow’s Director of Admissions, Sally Zeiner, for more information on learning celebrations at szeiner@willowschool.org or (908) 470-9500.