WLAC Surplus Theory and Child


Watch the following video, The Work of Play, to think about play and the benefits for children ( you will have to sign up on Teaching Channel to view the video; don’t worry- you can view up to three videos for free!):

If you don’t want to sign up for Teaching Channel, you can alternatively view this version of the video that I recorded on Zoom.

Video #1:


Video #2:

You should also view this video, “Importance of Play” to add to your understanding.

Video #3:

And this one, titled, “The Role of Play in Any Setting”:

After reading Chapter 5 and viewing the three videos above, please select ONE of the following discussion prompts to which to respond. If you see that more than eight students have replied to a particular prompt, try to select a different one to allow for a rich and varied discussion. You may respond to any peer, even if their chosen prompt differs from yours.

Please reply to ONE of the following:

1. What did you discover about learning through play? Have your concepts of play changed (i.e. from childhood, from child development courses, etc.)?

2. Why is play such a difficult concept to define? Is it important to do so?  Does it matter to you as an early care and learning professional or to children themselves?

3. The surplus energy theory is being used when families suggest that children go outside and play to ‘get rid of all that extra energy’. It makes sense as a rationale for why children play.  Describe what you see to be the strengths and limitations of this theory.

4. Many families and early learning professionals say that children today play less (and less creatively) than they did even a few short years ago. Describe why this, in fact, may be happening.  Why are many children playing less today?

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