Monday, March 8, 2010

You Can't Say, You Can't Play

I was required to read this for one of my education classes, but wished I had given it to everyone of my children's elementary teachers.  The concept of "You can't say, you can't play" is one I used in my own house with my children.  I remember a neighbor boy who used to like to climb the tree in front of our house.   One day my son went out to join this boy in the tree and the boy said that my son wasn't invited.  When my own child came in downhearted with the news, I could have gone out there and told him that it was our tree and my son could climb his tree if he wanted.  Instead, I told him that the tree was for everyone.  This neighbor boy didn't like hearing this news from another mom and didn't return to play in our tree.  But my point had been made.  Everyone gets to play in the tree.  It doesn't belong to anyone-not even to us!

Take a look at this book and see if you could help your own children learn how to play with children different from themselves.  This may encourage our world to be a better one.  If everyone had to play with everyone, imagine what Washington DC might be like. 

This book does not say that children have to like every child.  The teacher recognizes that children will still have their favorite friends, it just means that when someone asks you if they can join your group play, the other children have to say "yes".  Paley, the author and venerated Kindergarten teacher, writer and public speaker, found that her classroom became a more inclusive place for all of her students.  It helped quiet children to open up and overbearing kids to be more inclusive.  Give it a read!