Andrea Zsutty, art historian, Director of the ZOOM Children's Museum, Vienna
Play is one of the most important cultural techniques of man and has always appeared in the form of homo ludens, the playing man. What is accepted as a leisure activity among children often seems inefficient and pointless to adults. Yet it is precisely the play instinct that leads to gaining important knowledge about one's own environment and the world, and to acquiring skills that are essential for survival. Children's play in particular is therefore not simply a pastime; it forms the basis for their own learning and educational processes.
Education in childhood is mostly thought of as dependent on the fact that it can only be brought about through adult support processes. However, children can play anytime and anywhere; they do not need specific incentives, special materials or a clearly defined environment to do so. The free, self-initiated play of children leads to the self-appropriation of education. Therefore, it is the task of educational policy and its institutions to create the necessary conditions for this. The ZOOM Children's Museum sees itself as a place of education where children can practice and expand their motor, social and cognitive skills in open situations through play.
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