Paths to Learning

Lively Languages

At play sites and along trails in the forest, children use the “lively languages” of movement, music, visual arts, storytelling, sculpture, and imaginary play. Children tell stories sparked by their forest adventures, build pretend towns, and take on roles during imaginary play at play sites such as Little House in the Big Woods. Children’s use of “lively languages” exercises their symbolic thinking, self-regulation, working memory, cognitive flexibility, reasoning, and problem solving. These are important precursors to later development of abstract thinking and systematic ways of understanding and representing knowledge about the world.