Does the philosophy of learning through play stay with children as they get older?
I was proud to be able to have evidence of this the other night when my oldest daughter shared her babysitting experience with me. She went to watch a young toddler for the early evening. It wasn't near bedtime, so she decided to take him outside to "play".
At first she looked in their garage for toys, but not finding any she remembered how much fun a simple walk can be at this age, especially since this is what he was working so hard to master.
It did not take him too long to discover a puddle. Being an alumi of our creative, messy play nursery school and the daughter of a play advocate, she did not steer him away. Instead she marveled in his delight and enjoyed observing how he would walk in the puddle and then in the grass testing how the swishing water felt inside his shoes. He would smile up at her and then repeat the process heading back to the puddle to retest his theory of if his shoes would swish the same way. This 16 month old was involved in intense science inquiry while playing in the puddle.
And as I always say....
A dirty kid is a happy kid!
He sure was happy! And I was very proud of my playful teenager for recognizing the value and importance of this puddle.