Igniting Curiosity Through the Power of Play

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Sep 06, 2017

There’s something so inspiring about the way young children live in the world. They have a tenacious desire to gather information, explore non-stop and test theory after theory. They stand with resilience time and time again to face challenges and overcome barriers during their relentless pursuit of mastery.

It’s fascinating to spend time with a toddler who engages in shoveling buttons through a funnel for over an hour, each time finding something new to look for and learn from. It is equally intriguing to watch a 10 month old baby use a block to pull their body up, then sit back down, then stand back up, then sit back down… then stand back up again, each time, appearing to bring more joy than the last.

At this early stage of life, so much of what exists in the world is brand new to these tiny humans. Each second that goes by, their brains are making over one million new brain connections - over one MILLION per second! This means that at this early age, each interaction a child has with space, materials and other people is a potential opportunity for deep learning. Whether it’s a child taking notice of the way the sunlight dances on the floor as it beams through a window, becoming enthralled with the way a ball flies across the room once leaving their hand, or the way sand transforms when it is mixed into a pail of water, each moment offers rich feedback that provides information to the child performing the playful action. Each moment offers an answer to the theory being tested, or better yet, sparks another question.

I thoroughly enjoy creating early years play spaces where children can take time to really investigate the world around them making the connections in their brains as strong as possible. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my work with children is the moments where I get to just observe them as they play in these spaces. It is in these moments that I am reminded to continue my own playful learning as an adult. I am reminded to follow that internal voice that tells me to continue to be curious about the world around me, to create, to try new things and to be present in my mind and body so I can learn as much as possible from each moment.

Renée Coughlin, RECE
Education Specialist

Children and their parent/caregiver are invited to join Education Specialist, Renée Coughlin for early years fun!