Here is a great article from NPR that outlines the importance of open-ended play in children’s development.
I enjoy Elena Bodrova’s work on play and self-regulation and her new research is fascinating. Interesting that Maria Montessori incorporated the use of a three-hour uninterrupted “work period” where children are free to self-select tasks, with a goal of helping them achieve longer periods of focus, self-monitoring and mastery over their work. Rather than attempting to cram facts into children’s heads, she recognized the importance of giving children the freedom and the choice to work on tasks independently.
Unfortunately, this type of education is rare and probably won’t be taken up ?in Bodrova’s research as an interesting counter to mainstream lessons.