Play 101 – The early childhood 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 a hands-on, preschool located on a farm. One of my core teaching beliefs is play is essential to early learning. 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–and 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.
Parents, more than ever, are looking to their extended families for child-tending/child-rearing assistance. It is in a child’s home that their education really begins with parents’ being their child’s first teachers. Grandparents will want to support, sustain and extend their grandchild’s education. The ideal mode is through play.
Embracing play as a way to improve learning may seem like a radical idea, but there’s plenty of research to back it up! Read in Play 101 on the importance of play and learning. A core belief regarding toys: Toys are for playing. Toys will be categorized by type or organized into themes, but not sorted on some arbitrary, gender-basis. Additionally, toys have been selected for their intrinsic value rather than any market-basis following a film or TV series. A toddler-friendly category has also been added. Keep in mind toddlers, ages 1-3 years, are developmentally still prone to putting things into their mouths. NOTE: It is very important parents check toys for choking hazards and that they supervise their child at all times.
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.” Rent the ToyChest will provide your (grand) children with many hands-on activities for enriched, play-based, learning opportunities that will create memories to stand the test of time. While Rent the ToyChest is geared towards play 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.
Rent the ToyChest gives grandparents, aunts/uncles, godparents, foster parents and/or parents the opportunity to support play in their special child’s life with a variety of high quality toys without the high cost of purchasing to own OR the necessity of having a lot of storage space. Let’s be honest—children can quickly outgrow not only clothes and shoes, but toys too! Why go to the expense of buying or worry about storing toy after toy after toy…come to Rent the ToyChest instead! Additionally, being environmentally-friendly is very important to me. Reduce, reuse, recycle has been a mantra in our home for decades and carries over with Rent the ToyChest. Think about all the associated packaging that comes with every toy you buy. Sure, maybe you can recycle some of the packaging, but a lot of it still ends up in the landfill. Rent the ToyChest helps keep packaging out of the landfill!