One of the biggest changes from my generation (I am 31) and many of the kids that we have today, is play. So few kids really know how to play. When I teach kids in Kindergarten and 1st Grade, so many of them do not really play at home. They talk about going home, playing video games (I am not anti-video game, I just believe there should be balance) and very little else. Cue the “when I was your age” montage about playing outside till the streetlights came on speech! Seriously though, most of my kids struggle with imagination, inventiveness, social skills, and ingenuity because they simply do not play.
As adults, we also spend less time at play. Sadly, adults play very little. My first year in my own classroom I got the greatest gift one could get as a teacher. It was a book make on snap fish with pictures of the kids and events we had done that year. In that book there were also interviews. One of the things my kids loved the most about our class was that I played with them. When we had play time, I would interact with them, be part of their world.
Play is an important part of learning who you are, building your resourcefulness, creativity, and social understanding. It does not stop when we grow up. Not only is it fun, but it helps us make sense of the world around us. So, PLAY! Make some time to play and make yourself a better teacher and a better person!