Ask any early childhood advocate and they will share with you the important role play has in the classroom or child care setting. The role of play is a hot topic with the push to make education at all levels more rigorous. Kindergarten classrooms are being required to remove center time from their schedules. Recess is being shortened or taken away in the Upper Elementary.
Why is this all important? Years of child development research has shown that play is the primary method of interacting and discovering the world for a child. Play is not a one trick pony that only offers authentic opportunities for interaction, problem solving, and emotional development. Play also supports sensory development, spatial reasoning, motor development, early math concepts, language development, early literacy skills, social emotional behavioral skills, cognitive reasoning, and so much more. Play is so unassuming that many can mistake it for being meaningless. Please don’t be fooled by the simple nature and joy that play brings to children.
Play also provides an outlet for self-regulation. Are you stressed, upset, frustrated, angry, or at the end of your rope? Did you just use your Zen garden, go for a bike ride, talk with a friend, go on a run, or turn on your favorite music to relieve that stress or frustration? Hmm…then you are already demonstrating the Power of Play.
Learn more about this and other important early literacy skills and find resources at ReadingintoSuccess.org.