Play: The Universal Language of Childhood

SOE Dean David Andrews plays with children on a recent visit to IsraelIt’s Friday and I just returned last night from a whirlwind trip to Israel. SOE has the good fortune to work with a program in Israel that provides support to children and families in poor immigrant dominated communities. As always, I spent most of my time playing with the children rather than listening to the adults and their description of the program. The adults always give you exactly what they said in writing anyway. Sound familiar?

I have had the extraordinary opportunity to visit with young children in many countries. I’ve learned one truth – play is the universal language of childhood. Homemade play “dough” was our dialect on this day in Israel (see photo). The children even gave me some homemade play dough to take home in case we didn’t have it in the US.

I hope that you find abundant time for play this weekend and that you are surrounded by fun people who understand the language,

David Andrews
Dean, Johns Hopkins University School of Education

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