On Play

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Dear Editor:  It was wonderful to see an entire issue of Western Friend devoted to play! (Sept/Oct 2015) As a retired childcare director who believes in the value of play for young children, I am thrilled.

I directed a child care center in the 80’s called the Playfactory, in Temple City, CA. The name was based on Maria Montessori’s wise words, “Play is the work of young children.” We were not Montessori-based, but those words described the rich curriculum we offered, from jumping rope to knitting to cooking, painting, building with blocks, singing folk songs, climbing trees, planting and growing seeds and eating what we grew, caring for our rabbits and guinea pigs….I could go on!

I hope this sensory, hands-on kind of environment hasn’t completely given way in today’s nursery schools and child care centers to work-sheets, color-inside-the-lines, child computers, TV in the afternoons, and age-inappropriate team sports. Thanks again!

– Elspeth Benton, Redwood Forest Friends Meeting (PYM)