The Importance of Play
Young children need to be able to have the freedom to play. This is their time to play out life experiences, try out different scenarios and work out differences with other playmates. Play is where they can digest their life around them. They learn to be cooperative by working with others. Their social/emotional skills are developed and strengthened through free play.
Here at the Waldorf School of Mendocino County, in our Early Childhood Program, children play, play, play! They learn to be cooperative and creative. They can make up elaborative games or simple games. Sometimes they play out the stories they have just heard from their teacher or you can hear them singing the songs from circle time while making up their newest games.
Here is great article by EdSource that talks about the benefits of free play.