In today’s world, parents have a lot of concerns when it comes to their children’s education and rightfully so. Some parents feel that their Passaic County daycare offers too much play time while others feel like their children don’t get enough. No matter where you stand on the spectrum, most people can agree that children normally live a healthier life when they have a good balance of both. Let’s explore how work and play come together to enhance the learning experience for children in a Montessori classroom.

What is Work?

Traditionally the word work is associated with tasks that are deemed important while play refers to activities that are seen as frivolous and unproductive. While these traditional views of work and play may hold up within mainstream society, they do not reflect the views of Dr. Maria Montessori, Founder of the Montessori Philosophy.

Contrary to societal norms, Dr. Montessori described play as the work of early childhood and placed a strong emphasis on its importance in a child’s life. In a Montessori learning environment, we refer to all purposeful activity as work, including playing. In fact, we use playing as a vehicle to guide children’s learning and development.

While the separation of work and play may seem beneficial on the surface, it can disrupt a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.

How Does Playing Enhance the Montessori Learning Environment?

In conventional learning environments, direct instruction is the preferred method of teaching. This method of teaching relies on lectures, textbooks, and worksheets to educate children rather than letting children actively explore the world around them. Typically in this type of classroom setting, children are expected to sit and listen all day which can potentially lead to behavior problems such as lack of attention and restlessness.

In comparison, a Montessori classroom takes a developmentally appropriate approach to early childhood education. What this means is we encourage children to be active in their learning by letting them work/play in an environment that is aesthetically arranged with materials that are presented sequentially to meet their developmental needs. Children who are educated in the Montessori environment have been to be more independent and have better social and academic skills.

After reading this, you’re probably left wondering should I let my child play more and work less or work more and play less? At Monarch Montessori, we believe you shouldn’t have to choose because work vs. play is just a matter of semantics to us. When you enroll your child in one of our Montessori programs your child can engage in guided play activities that allow them to work through challenges and conceptualize the world around them on their own.

To learn more about how our Passaic County childcare programs differ from traditional forms of early childhood education, please call 973-307-0595.