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Playing in Uncertainty

By ITS Education Asia

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Harvard GSE has a piece linking what we already know about play to the pandemic. Playgrounds in the United States are typically designed to minimize risk and keep kids safe. This is especially important in a pandemic, when outdoor play provides children the opportunity to interact with one another relatively safely.

Yet meaningful play is also all about uncertainty and risk-taking, according to Project Zero researchers Ben Mardell and Megina Baker and Boston Public Schools Early Childhood Program Developer David Ramsey.

According to Mardell, evolutionary biologists and developmental psychologists believe play exists in humans and across the animal kingdom because it helps us deal with and manage uncertainty in a low-risk way and adapt.


In a time where educators feel they must provide children with a safe, regulated learning environment, Mardell, Baker, and Ramsey suggest ways for parents to help children use time spent outside to play meaningfully.



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