Slate: put the play back in playgrounds

Early childhood educators, for their part, adore loose parts for the open-ended, spontaneous sort of play they encourage, which is very much in line with the new orthodoxy of how young children learn. “When you have loose parts, you don’t have the same repetitive pattern of play,” Hammond says. “It’s much a more circuitous path.” And that’s what you want from play. “You want to see kids escape into this zone in which they lose themselves.” In other words, loose parts are perfectly suited to assuage the paradoxical parental anxieties of the moment: We want our children to have time to play but we also want that play to be productive—to be more than play.

Read the full Slate article.

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