A Child’s Work

A Child’s Work: Understanding the importance of play and how to nurture it in young children: The job of a child is to play. Play allows children to begin to understand what they observe in the world around them. By supporting and nurturing children in play, we open a world of opportunity for them to make sense of life. In this way, play is an essential part of promoting emotional wellness in young children. Play allows children to “access” feelings that they may not understand, and/or that may be uncomfortable, frightening, and upsetting. Once children are able to play out these themes, be it the stress of a recent move, the birth of a sibling, or other life happenings, they are able to begin processing their emotions and moving through their emotional upset to a place of calm understanding. The essential nature of play in emotional wellness, the developmental progression of play, and the role of adults in supporting healthy play will be discussed as part of this presentation. Participants will learn hands-on strategies for connecting with children in the world of play and will have a chance to experience some play exercises, so come prepared for fun! To truly understand children, we need to enter their world through the gateway of play.