Why Play Matters
The most frequently expressed concerns by parents of preschoolers to teachers are “does my child know the alphabet?” “can my child sound out letters?” “does my child know their shapes, colors, and animal noises?” While foundational academic knowledge is extremely important to learn, most parents forget about foundational social/emotional knowledge. Children cannot learn how to identify letters and eventually read before they learn how to sit still, pay attention and follow directions. So, just how do you teach kids the basics of human behavior? Well, that question takes us to our most powerful teaching resource: Play. Sometimes, parents get worried hearing about our play schedule. “When will you take time to actually teach them…. You know, important stuff?” Studies show that play is crucial to a child’s development. In one study, done by Rachel E White about the power of play, she states “Play may seem simple, yet it is profound to a child’s development. Play makes learning something that happens naturally and joyfully, when a child laughs and wonders, explores and imagines.” There is so much to learn through play, the possibilities are endless. Children learn to socialize together through play, they learn how to read emotions and problem solve. They develop critical thinking skills and learn to ask questions to find answers. Children develop creativity and gross and fine motor abilities. They practice writing when they play restaurant and take food orders. Preschoolers internalize so much new information through play, and every skill they learn will benefit them as they move to more formal grades. Through play, young children learn to process and discover how their world works. The best part about learning through play is that it’s always fun. If children are taught that learning is fun, it will ignite a love of wonder and exploration and create lifetime learners.