Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Importance Of Play

Educational Toys Make A Difference

Children gain a strong foundation for learning through play. Playtime is fun. Young children love to explore and discover new things about the world around them and about themselves. Solitary play fosters independent thinking and problem solving while group play encourages cooperation and understanding. For healthy growth and development, children should spend most of their days in free play. Allow your child to play his way and encourage him to solve problems during playtime. 

You may notice at Pamm's House, a wide range of toys are provided to the children each day.  Different types of toys are offered;  blocks, puzzles, imaginative play toys, some for gross motor skills, etc.  Presenting all the toys at once is too overwhelming, so I bring out a toy or two each day to provide opportunity for the children to explore different skills daily.  

A portion of the day is spent guiding the children in their playtime; I point out how gears work, how to stack blocks, how to pretend to cook, shapes and colors, and so much more.  I sing songs with the children, point out shapes and colors on the poster, read books with the children, and just have fun with them.

Another portion of each day is spent supervising the children as they free-play in a group.  This is where the children learn to get along with each other.  They learn to work out disagreements and how to play together as a team.  I step in as a mediator when needed and offer guidance on how to work out situations.  I encourage the children to use their words and give them appropriate words to use if they need it.  Communication is highly important.

When a child chooses to play and explore on their own, it gives the child an opportunity to work on how to solve problems such as solving puzzles, how to climb up and go down the slide, exploring spacial relationships, comparing textures, etc.  Independence is encouraged at Pamm's House.  Learning to do things on their own makes the children feel proud of themselves--that's what I'm aiming for.

Do my methods work?  Absolutely!  Reports from children who have moved on to preschool from Pamm's House are excellent!  After practicing independence, social skills, and thinking skills at Pamm's House, children are ready for the next step in their preschool careers.
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