Play is Work
Caroline Pratt founded C&C on the belief that play is a child’s natural and most meaningful way of learning. In fact, the School’s original name was “The Play School.” Since the beginning, play at C&C has been the core activity of the children’s daily work. We believe that play is the work of young children. Play is serious work to them. And, that is how young children learn—through play. We offer them open-ended materials (blocks, clay, paper, crayons, paint, water) and invite them to experiment and explore. Through their explorations, the children imagine, think and create. They solve their own problems. They discover new and interesting ways of doing things. It is in play and work with materials that children put things together—their experiences, their information and misinformation—and work very hard to make sense of the world. It is in play that young children—children who are not yet fully capable of expressing themselves in words—can express the depth and breadth of their thoughts and feelings.
“Scientists who study play, in animals and humans alike, are developing a consensus view that play is something more than a way for restless kids to work off steam; more than a way for chubby kids to burn off calories; more than a frivolous luxury. Play, in their view, is a central part of neurological growth and development — one important way that children build complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept and cognitively flexible brains.”