Shakin Bones Time…so many people say to me, “I believe in Play”, but when I visit their programs it is not something that I see practiced. One of Peter Gray’s definition's of play is, “Self-Chosen, Self-Directed, and Players are free to quit”. What is Self-Chosen? Do children have to attend circle time? Do children have to eat all at the same time? Why do we call it “Free Choice” time? Do Children have to rest all at the same time? Do we ask children if they want to go on “field trips”? Do Children decide on what they play with? What is Self- Directed? Is it self-directed when we place art activities on a table for children to do? Is having a music and/or movement time self-directed? What is Freedom to Quit? Who decides when a child is finished playing? Does a child decide on how long he/she plays in an area or center? When a child is not sleepy who decides when they get up from nap?
We can no longer keep saying, “I believe in Play” it is not just a word. It is our practices that make "Play a Child’s Sense of Reality."