It’s been said that you don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing. Culver-Newlin, multiple studies, and children everywhere agree. Only a generation ago, preschool was unheard of and Kindergarten’s purpose was to prepare children for school. Today, school readiness programs present young children with worksheets and drills and flash cards. Many of America’s next generation are being forced to grow up far too fast in the name of education.
But preschoolers and Kindergartners learn differently than older kids do. For them, play is not a break from learning but learning itself. Then again, isn’t it for most of us even in adulthood? Certainly as we grow older, productivity must become prominent, but we long for play, and an amount of play aids productivity. This is the dichotomy of learning, and this is the challenge of today’s early childhood educators: How to balance play and productivity to accentuate learning.
Culver-Newlin offers the following tips,
Implement child initiated activities. Allow kids to choose from appropriate educational activities that support their ideas and interests. When children are allowed to play they develop physical, emotional, social, thinking, and language skills essential to learning and life. They are able to test developing ideas and have a natural motivation to do so.
Guide play to help kids learn more and better. Teachers can respond to children’s play and interact with students in ways that foster learning, such as building vocabulary, inspiring the use of math concepts, or encouraging social skills.
Work with parents to ensure the best possible outcome. Ask parents what their kids like to do at home and on weekends to find ideas for suitable schoolroom activities. Discuss each child’s learning style with the parents and strive to allow activities for all learning styles.
Take a stroll through non-educational play areas. Observe kids’ favorite toys. Notice the color schemes. Find ways to implement these things in your schoolroom.
Culver-Newlin is dedicated to enhancing early education excellence through providing quality schoolroom furniture. For a custom quote or for more information, please call us at 949-288-6735. We’re here for you so you can be there for them.