Play is the highest form of research.
—Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
To move is the developmental agenda of children. Yet, on a daily basis, teachers spend their time confining children to “movement time.” For children, it is always time to move, wiggle, run, creep, crawl, turn over, stand, walk, and climb. Interestingly, no one has to teach children to move. Many teachers report frustration and see movement as a challenging behavior. Is it? Or, are children challenging teachers to provide the place and time to do what their bodies and brains are demanding? Children need freedom to move in a variety of ways. They need to practice and use their new skills. Instead of repeatedly reminding children that tables and chairs are not for climbing, give them places where they can climb. Instead of reminders for “walking feet,” give them opportunities to run. Instead of telling them that they can’t throw toys because it’s not safe, show them what they can throw. After all, “You gotta move when the spirit says move!”
In loving memory of Gryphon House author Leanne Grace, MEd, we are sharing pieces of her inspirational writing every Wednesday. Leanne was the director of professional development at Hildebrandt Learning Centers and a lifelong advocate for early childhood education. She inspired the early childhood community to prepare children as lifelong learners with her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. One person can make a difference, and Leanne did just that. She will be sorely missed.