So far I've geared my blogs towards teachers. Now I want parents to see how they can really foster this approach at home. I hope by now that you see that academic skills shouldn't be stressed at the expense of play for these young children. Remember that play is how they learn. Here are a few suggestions that you can follow on a typical day.
During the early morning or quiet of night:
- Have a space where the child can be encouraged to play alone or with another child.
During the day:
- When you have time go to your child's school and watch them while playing. see what sparks their interest and what they spend most of their time doing. Watch the teacher and see what type of play activities and props he/ she uses and try to bring them into your home.
- While at home encourage pretend play using materials as other objects i.e. a small shoe box as a mail box.
After school or on weekends:
Outdoor dramatic play is just as important as being indoors. You can be in your own backyard, playground, park, pool etc. During outside activities children can use large motor skills receiving exercise.
Parents, not that you understand the importance of play here are some ideas that you can use at home:
- Tell your children that you know play is important for them.
- When your child wants you to play with them and you have the time engage with them!
- Have well thought out props and materials for your children to play with. Dress up materials and writing materials. Remember it doesn't have to be new in fact old things work the best like old purses, phones, shoes boxes, etc.
Your child is never just playing they are learning and building skills!
Wilford, Sara (2005,May ). Policies & Practices: Sharing the Power of Play With Parents. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from Scholastic Web site: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3747169