Great article today in the New York Times by Hilary Stout talking about the importance of imaginary play time. I also love the mom that feels comfortable with the mess that play can bring!
Did you know that there were toy libraries? The USA-TLA is a terrific non-profit organization that provides important information to teachers, parents, child care providers about the importance of play. There are centers all over the United States that are chock full of educators that specialize in early childhood education. Take a look at their site and their directory of centers.
Here’s what they do: (in their own words):
• Offer an important dimension to America’s educational program by providing another environment of abundant play opportunity supplemented by a collection of high-grade toys; and a forum for discussion among parents, teachers and others;
• Provide disabled children with quality, specially-adapted toys;
• Provide trained personnel to work with families to integrate disabled children into the mainstream;
• Respond to child care needs;
• Offer caregivers valuable direction in child development;
• Help parents to play with and provide play experiences for their children while becoming more informed consumers of toys.
• Affirm values of honesty and sharing among children in all walks of life.
If you’d like to know more, I encourage you to visit their website, www.usatla.org. Their Executive Director Judi Iacuzzi is one of my favorite people…a positive force of energy for the benefit of children…how could ask for more?