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The child has one intuitive aim: self development

From the Director: Embracing Curiosity and Play: A Key to Lifelong Learning

During a recent trip to London, and a quick trip down to see the Jurassic Coast, with my two teenagers, I had a heartwarming reminder of just how important play and curiosity are. We spent a lovely day in West Bay, where I noticed my 13-year-old daughter had pulled out her small catapult souvenir. Watching her and my son, I realized they had quietly built a little fort from found items and were launching pebbles from the toy catapult. This simple moment of play highlighted a significant life skill: the power of curiosity and play in fostering lifelong learning.

The catapult behind its fortress.

Why Play Matters

Play isn’t just a fun way to pass the time—it’s crucial for your child’s development. Experts agree that play helps kids build essential skills like problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork. It’s a natural way for them to learn about themselves and the world around them.


The Science Behind Play

Research consistently supports the notion that play and curiosity are foundational to learning. A study published in the journal “Pediatrics” found that unstructured playtime helps children learn to engage and interact with the world around them, boosting their academic and social success. Moreover, play promotes a love for learning, making it a self-driven, enjoyable process. The renowned psychologist Jean Piaget once said, “Play is the work of childhood.” This statement encapsulates the idea that through play, children learn about themselves and the world in a natural, intuitive way.


Nurturing Curiosity

Curiosity goes hand-in-hand with play. Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Encouraging your kids to be curious helps them develop a love for learning that lasts a lifetime. It’s all about asking questions, exploring, and discovering new things.


Practical Tips for Parents

Create Play Opportunities: Provide your children with time and space for unstructured play. This could be as simple as allowing them to explore a park or play with everyday household items.

Encourage Exploration: Support your children’s interests and encourage them to ask questions and seek out answers. Foster an environment where curiosity is celebrated.

Participate in Play: Engage in play with your children. Whether it’s building a fort, playing a board game, or embarking on a nature walk, your involvement shows that play is valuable.


The teens arming the catapult with pebbles and firing it over the “wall” onto the invaders.

My Reflections

Hearing my teenagers re-enact the stories they heard at the Tower of London with a simple toy reminded me of the lasting importance of play and curiosity. It reinforced my belief that encouraging these qualities in young children is crucial for their growth and happiness. As parents, we have the chance to nurture these traits, helping our kids become lifelong learners and explorers. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to overlook the importance of play. Yet, moments like the one I experienced in West Bay serve as powerful reminders that play and curiosity are not just childhood pastimes but essential life skills that will benefit our children throughout their lives.


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