Posted:11 February 2020
Author: Cheryl Lovstrom, Community Learning Network
Have you ever watched your child (or your pet) at play? Watching them in that space where imagination and sheer joy collide is fascinating. So much is happening in those moments; learning is at its peak when the participant is having fun. Children (and pets) learn social cues, practice communication, and learn about the world around them; it’s a very important part of growing up. But did you know play isn’t just for children? It is essential for adults as well.
More and more research shows that learning happens best in a fun environment. Productivity increases when employees are engaged in fun activities on a regular basis. Our ability to problem solve rises when we let our imaginations loose. Perhaps most significantly, research also shows that employees who feel safe at work are more likely to step “out of the box” and try new, innovative ideas. What a wonderful affirmation of our work in CALP!
When learners enter your safe, welcoming space, it helps them feel more relaxed. Even the most reluctant of learners becomes a willing participant when they feel the genuine caring of the staff and facilitators around them. Add to that the laughter that is often heard in CALPs around the province and you have a great recipe for success. Not only are learners feeling safe and relaxed, but they are having FUN. So what does fun look like? If not everyone has the same idea of fun, how do you keep everyone happy and engaged?
Here are some ideas to mix it up a bit:
Check out some of these online articles for more information:
No learner will enjoy every moment of the learning experience but, if a little bit of fun is sprinkled throughout each session, they will remember more and are more likely to persist in their learning.
In closing, I leave you with the wisdom of playwright, George Bernard Shaw, “We do not cease to play because we grow old; we grow old because we cease to play.” Play lots, learn lots, stay young!
CLN Central Regional Support Staff