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Active Adult Play

by Bryan G. Nelson and Gregory Uba
May/June 2009
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/active-adult-play/5018762/

When we think of active, physical play with children, an enthusiastic young, male teacher comes to mind. We'll call him Riley. Riley would run around and around, the children laughing gleefully while chasing him, until he collapsed from exhaustion. After resting a few minutes, with the children piling on top of him, he would get up and do it all over again. The children loved it! Unfortunately, most of his co-workers, all women, did not. Most felt that he was 'riling' the children up making them, especially the boys too excited. Except for Phoebe, an experienced teacher who grew up with several brothers. She:

encouraged Riley's enthusiastic, active play with the children
offered encouragement to continue with the active play
challenged him to explore other less-exhausting activities, like reading, block building, and art so that he "could rest up for more active outdoor fun."

While the other teachers had made a judgment that an excited, 'physically active' child was somehow not ready to learn, Phoebe knew how important it was for the children to have daily, active play and she recognized Riley's willingness to engage in that kind of activity with the children.

Active play

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