Advantages to Unstructured Play
Sometimes walking into a preschool classroom it can seem a little loud and busy. It is important to look closely. The activity that seems a little unstructured is done by design. When we give children in our classroom the chance to explore, play and inspect with no direction, only stepping in to answer questions or intervene if necessary we are actually helping provide them the opportunity to improve on their cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skills.
Cognitive skills are shaped by problem solving and decision making. Linguistic skills are shaped by children using language together when they play. Social and Emotional skills are worked when children work through disagreements. Physical skills are continuously developed when playing (they never choose to sit still). Creative skills are pushed and developed when they create their own stories or ideas of play. The possibilities to shape development are endless. We only limit the children when they are made to sit and listen to what we want to show them and while at times it is necessary to do so, the best environment for their development is created during unstructured play.