The pendulum swings back and forth in education. Waiting at one end of the arc is a myopic focus on academics and accountability, often in the form of high-stakes testing. Fueled by a fear of “falling behind,” learning environments that encourage exploration and experimentation are pushed aside in favor of early academics, more homework, and correct answers on bubble sheets.
The idea that play is incompatible with, or the opposite of, learning is a misconception. Play benefits physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. Play has Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ) Or as Mark Twain said “Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.”