Jean Piaget taught us that a child’s work is play.  Adults understand work, but children understand play.  Work is important to adults, but it all started with play.

I am a teacher.  My elementary schoolers love to play.  They learn and enjoy more and behave well when the lesson plan includes playing as we learn. 

Preschoolers love to play.  Usually they do not have to be taught to play.  They begin playing with a parent, teacher or caregiver.  Then they play by themselves.  Later, they play with others.

My son loved to play.  At age 3, he loved the indoor playgrounds at restaurants.  One day we were at an indoor playground and he was having so much fun. When it was time to leave, he was at the top of the play structure. He was not ready to go, so I had to climb to the top to get him.  He was still having fun all the way down.

Was it hard to get you to come in from playtime when you were a child?  They were good times.  Perhaps the better we play, the better we will work (and learn).

Teaching and learning does not require chairs and tables.  I think teaching and learning requires love, planning (and unplanned moments), and enjoyment on the part of the teacher and play on the part of both children and teachers. We all like situations where we enjoy being together and can have fun together.

Preschoolers are the smartest people in the world.  We do not have to tell them how we feel because they know.  They know when they are loved and safe.  They know when we are happy to be with them.

Remember that they cannot see God, but that they can see us.  At first, they must think we are God.  We are at church.  We care for their needs.  We talk about Jesus, we “Jesus loves me” and we tell Bible stories.

Preschoolers soon learn that we are not God, but we must be like God because we are at church where they hear “Jesus loves me.”  How we treat preschoolers is literally how they think God feels about them.  When we play with them at church and plan learning experiences that they enjoy, they will learn.

I love being a Mom, spending my day loving and teaching children, working with Mission Friends and working on learning experiences for preschoolers.  I really do get to play all the time.

Thank you for taking the time to love, teach and play with preschoolers.


Written by Wendy Dever


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