Grown-Ups Don’t Play: Three Things to Remember When You Join Children's Play

If you have ever tried to join a group of children at play and then watched as they gradually melt away and resume their game elsewhere, you’ll know how tricky it can be to get past the idea that play is not for grown-ups. So how do we go about joining in? Firstly, abandon agendas. That’s right, no ideas about finding out if they can count to 10 or name their colours or even introducing new vocabulary. When you approach a child with an agenda in mind, you are going in with an air of intention and purpose. You will spend the whole interaction waiting for the opportunity to follow your interest. Somehow, this will leak from you and the child will suspect on some level that you are there to com

Why I stopped talking about behaviour management

I used to talk about behaviour management all the time - how the adults manage the behaviour of children and use strategies to change behaviours that are unwanted. It all seemed fairly straightforward. Then I started to notice how I felt when children did not follow the rules. Somehow, their difficulty with following the rules became my lack of skill in behaviour management. I began to feel ineffective, that I lacked "tools" and even that I was losing control. When we tie children's behaviour to our ability to control, we are potentially missing a vital part of our role as educators. I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that it was not MY role to manage children's behaviour but to get al

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