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Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Playmats $65

"The urge to play, the particular way in which a child plays, disappears and sinks below the surface of life. Then it resurfaces, but as something different, as the skill to adapt to life. There is an inner coherence in life throughout all its stages. We need to know this in order to teach children in the right way.
The child has a spiritual-soul activity that, in a certain sense, still hovers lightly, etherically over the child. (That is, the spirit-soul being of the child is not yet fully incarnated.) It is active in play in much the same way that dreams are active throughout the entire life. In children, however, this activity occurs not simply in dreams, it occurs also in play, which develops in external reality. What thus develops in external reality subsides in a certain sense. In just the same way that the seed-forming forces of a plant subside in the leaf and flower petal and only reappear in the fruit, what a child uses in play also only reappears at about the age of twenty-one or twenty-two, as independent reasoning in gathering experiences in life." - Rudolf Steiner

in Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education

Renate Long-Breipohl, with photographs by Paulene Hanna and Sandra Busch, published by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America

(book available from here)

"Play reveals its greatest importance for the human biography, in that self-directed play is a practice for and a foreshadowing of taking responsibility for one’s own life. Steiner was one of the first who spiritually discovered and publicly spoke about play as a spiritual activity and about the benefits of play for the later life as an adult. "
Supporting Self-directed Play, recently published by WECAN, arose out of two concerns. One is the disappearance of play in many countries around the world. The other concern is the danger of self-directed play disappearing in the practice of Steiner/Waldorf early childhood education.  A quiet shift is taking place in Steiner/Waldorf early childhood practice away from a cornerstone of this work, the self-directed and open-ended play, towards more time spent in playful, outcome-oriented activities.

The book originated in Australia as part of a three-year cooperative working that took place from 2006 to 2009 between Renate Long-Breipohl and teachers on the theme of self-directed play, called “The Play Project.”

 *excerpt of full article from here
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