By Outreach Director Kristin Butler
having fun exploring the world around them is also the reason SFBBO offers hands-on science experiences to kids and their families. Participants in SFBBO’s youth and family programs get to play with bird banding tools, peer at nature through spotting scopes, create their own “binoculars,” test their bird observation skills, sketch local nature, and more!
We met Chris at the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo in San Francisco a couple years ago and spoke with him recently to talk about the importance of play for kids’ education. During our chat he shared that when children have the time and opportunity to play they practice verbal and social skills, gain fine and gross motor development, and learn how to build relationships. We also know that when kids participate in activities like bird walks, hands-on experiments, nature journaling, and art, they develop their observation, science literacy and deductive reasoning skills.
Chris has a master's in Early Childhood Development and his research focused on play and inspired his book Why Play: The Role of Play in Early Childhood Development. Through both his research and his experience growing up with a learning disability, Chris said he discovered that no two people are alike and that play can help kids with any learning style thrive. He now shares what he has learned through workshops, online resources, and his book, Why Play: Learning Through Play.
He also shared that humans are not the only species that play! Many animals also engage in play as a way to learn and practice survival skills, including some birds. Learn more about the importance of play for people and animals by checking out our interview with Chris at the link below.
You can learn more about the importance of play in education at Chris’s website. To get involved in SFBBO’s hands-on youth and family programs, please visit our education web page or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to volunteer Arantxa Astudillo for editing this video!
Wingbeat is a blog where you can find the most recent stories about our science and outreach work. We'll also share guest posts from volunteers, donors, partners, and others in the avian science and conservation world. To be a guest writer, please fill out our Volunteer Application below.