Play is essential to a young child’s brain development. Through it, children learn about language, math, literacy, science, and essential social skills. Unfortunately, some believe that playing is frivolous and that young children need more “rigorous” academic work. Research shows that isn’t the best way. In fact, play IS the way that a child’s brain works!
Play is the Way to Learn CONCENTRATION
Elementary school students must be able to concentrate on their work. Preschoolers practice this by painting.
Playing Teaches Students How to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS
Elementary school students must be able to follow oral and written directions. Preschoolers practice by cooking.
Play is the Way to Learn to PROCESS NEW INFORMATION
Elementary school students must be able to process new information. Preschoolers practice by exploring sensory materials.
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Play is the Way to Learn PROBLEM-SOLVING
Elementary school students must be problem solvers. Preschoolers practice by putting together puzzles.
Play GROWS IMAGINATION
Elementary school students need to use their imaginations when reading and writing.
Preschoolers practice by dressing up and role-playing.
Play DEVELOPS CURIOSITY
Elementary school students need to have a strong curiosity, be able to ask questions, and be interested in learning more about the world around them. Preschoolers practice by playing outdoors and observing nature.
Play is the Way to Learn HOW TO WORK TOGETHER
Elementary school students must be able to work in groups to collaborate and plan projects.
Preschoolers practice by playing together in the block center.
Play is the Way to Develop EMPATHY
Elementary school students are most successful when they are kind and caring toward their classmates.
Preschoolers practice by playing with baby dolls.
Play BUILDS VOCABULARY
Elementary school students with rich speaking and listening vocabularies learn to read and comprehend more quickly and easily. In preschool, children build vocabulary by reading and re-reading our favorite books.
Play is the Way to SET GOALS and DREAM
Elementary school students need to dream big and believe that anything is possible. Preschoolers practice by pretending.
The more children engage in playing in preschool, the smarter and more ready for elementary school they become!
The common goal amongst early educators and parents is to develop children’s ability to concentrate, problem-solve and follow directions. Everyone wants them to be caring members of society who can process information in various ways and collaborate with others. We want to build them a strong sense of curiosity and vivid imagination. We want students to be thinkers and big dreamers. With those goals in mind, incorporate PLAY every single day. It’s the way their brains work!
Have fun playing and learning with your children today.
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I have to say I have not read your article yet but children learn through play. I am the assistant director at preschool in Texas and pre-k teacher and the children in our center learn so much through play. This very morning I watched my children work together to build a ramp in the block center for the marbles I put in the block center. I just got to observe them and watch them work together until they figured out how to make a ramp for the marbles but also have the marble roll down the ramp and and roll back over another ramp. They learned so much from playing.
Jamie White, M.Ed.
I completely agree! It sounds like your students are very lucky to be at a center that values play.
susen @Dabbling Momma