Play and the 7 C’s
Heaping Doses of Play Add up to a Love of Learning
The developmental benefits of Smart Play are not just a quick play date. They keep on giving through a person’s life. For more than 30 years, Minnesota Children’s Museum has embedded research on play and child development into interactive learning environments through its exhibits and programs. As the Museum embarks on an ambitious expansion, we have been and continue to be presented with pivotal opportunities to strengthen our connection to child development and high-quality research on the role of play in learning, not just early learning, but lifelong learning.
Looking ahead to the next 30 years, and what living, working and contributing in the 21st century requires, we determined that constructing and developing the proficiencies and skills your child will call upon and use daily to succeed in school and in life would be our focus. There are seven proficiencies which is not a fun name so after a raise of hands we chose to call them “The 7 C’s.”
These seven “tools” are consistently viewed as crucial and necessary for success in the 21st century by researchers and Fortune 500 company executives. And amazingly so, these tools begin to surface in early childhood and are first developed through play!
|The 7 C’s (MCM focus areas)||What It Includes||Why It’s Important|
|CONFIDENCE||Persistence, willingness, risk taking, dedication, integrity, curiosity, initiative, leadership, belief, satisfaction, happiness, participation, self-concept and resiliency.||Trusting your own instincts and acting on intentions are surefire ways to build confidence. Having confidence keeps us active and engaged, rather than shutting down or avoiding.|
|CONTROL||Focusing, awareness, responsibility, empathy, adaptive, regulation, coping, rational, and inhibition.||Staying aware of surroundings and keeping focus throughout an activity assists us in resisting other temptations and controlling impulses. The ability to filter out distractions and act responsibly helps us achieve our goals.|
|CRITICAL THINKING||Questioning, goal-setting, organizing, planning, predicting, executing, observing, problem-solving, strategizing, contemplating, recalling, working memory, cognitive flexibility, analyzing, synthesizing, concluding, evaluating, reflecting, retaining.||Making sense of things guides our understanding, beliefs, actions and more. Being immersed in the learning process from beginning to end- not focusing solely on the end result- is a revealing and powerful way to gain information.|
|CREATIVE THINKING||Imagining, innovating, inventing, reinventing, improvising, interpreting, wondering, freedom, inquiry, and decision making.||Thinking of alternative ways to do something, or altering a step to change the result, displays a child’s ability to be innovative-the wave of the future. New ideas, tomorrow’s inventions, the next, big innovative thing is often sparked by an unusual and creative idea.|
|COMMUNICATION||Talking, listening, reading, writing, reasoning, narrating, comprehending, responding, and role-playing.||Expressing knowledge you have with others makes that knowledge more powerful and valuable.|
|COLLABORATION||Connecting, friendship, cooperation, interacting, trusting, turn taking, sharing, conflict resolution, perspective-taking, compromising, accommodating, negotiating, accepting, and tolerating.||Actively engaging others to join in our work (or play) is one valuable way we establish and build positive relationships and friendships. Respecting and valuing other’s perspectives, adds to our own character.|
|COORDINATION||Precision, strength, balance, endurance, stamina, accuracy, flexibility, agility, dexterity, body awareness, large motor, and small motor.||Learning is a whole body experience and most effective when the mind and body are working together. Being physically active also promotes a healthy lifestyle and has overall health benefits.|