Play 101: What happens in the early childhood years. These years are special – if not magical years. I count myself very blessed to have shared many families’ early childhood years as co-founder and teacher of Red Gate Preschool, a hands-on, (farm) preschool.
One of my core teaching beliefs is play is essential to early learning. In fact, children need play to THRIVE! The Greek philosopher Plato said,
——————-“Life must be lived as play“
and Albert Einstein said
————-“Play is the highest form of research.”
Clearly there’s a lot more to play than fun–but the fun aspect shouldn’t be minimized either! The early childhood years are a time of rapid growth and development; where children are interacting with each other and their environment to understand the world around them. Each age and developmental stage is important with critical milestones to be reached. The tendency to ‘push-down’ academics is, sadly, reaching all the way down to the preschool set.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
It is in a child’s home that their education really begins. Parents’ are their children’s first and most teachers! However, most families have both parents working outside the home. Child care is a big issue. Often parents look to their extended families for child-tending/child-rearing assistance. Grandparents will want to support, sustain and extend their grandchild’s education. And they can do that by insuring their grandchild has the time, freedom, space and materials to play.
PLAY IS THE WAY
Embracing play as a way to improve learning may seem like a radical idea, but there’s plenty of research to back it up! There are more posts in TeacherKarensThoughts on the importance of play and learning. Another core belief, this time regarding toys: Toys are for playing. If a toy is a good toy, it’s a good toy for a boy OR a girl!
Fred Rogers of the long-running PBS children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, a proponent of early learning, said: “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play IS serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Play & Grow™ provides your (grand) children with hands-on activities for enriched, play-based, learning opportunities as well as creating memories to stand the test of time. While Play & Grow™ is geared towards play, learning activities and the young, did you know play is also important for adults? It’s true! Read about The Benefits of Play for Adults and how play can improve your health, work and family relationships.