The Value of Preschool Activities: Play is Learning!
WHEN YOUR CHILD BUILDS WITH BLOCKS:
- She learns to use her imagination to create something from her own thinking.
- She has the satisfaction of being able to make something.
- She learns about sizes and shapes, weights and balances, height and depth, smoothness and roughness.
- She is exercising her body.
- She learns to play with others.
WHEN YOUR CHILD PAINTS:
- He is more concerned with the process he is going though than with a finished product. This is how it should be for this stage in development.
- He learns about colors and how he can use them.
- He learns to use his imagination and transfers his ideas to paper.
- He gets emotional satisfaction from being able to express himself.
- He learns how to use small muscle coordination to handle a brush.
- He learns how to make choices and decisions.
WHEN YOUR CHILD USES THE OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT:
- She learns how to use her body effectively.
- She experiences joy in achieving a skill.
- She has fun and experiences relaxation through bodily movement.
- She learns the limitations of her body.
- She learns safety and caution.
- She learns to take turns and to share a piece of equipment.
WHEN YOUR CHILD PLAYS IN THE HOUSEKEEPING CORNER:
- He learns what the roles of mother, father and children are.
- He understands what it feels like to play at being somebody other than himself.
- He learns how to use his imagination.
- He learns how to cooperate with other children.
WHEN YOUR CHILD MAKES A GIFT OUT OF PAPER AND PASTE:
- She learns about doing things for others.
- She learns how to use materials like scissors and paste.
- She learns how to use her imagination to make the kind of present she has in mind. Again, the process, not the finished product is important to her.
- She learns about shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.
WHEN YOUR CHILD PLAYS IN THE SAND OR WATER:
- He finds it soothing to bury his hands in sand or pour water in and out of cups.
- He is able to relax with these types of media and center his attention on a task.
- He has an opportunity to play alone and not have to compete with other children as with some activites. This is especially important to a child who has trouble getting along with others.
- He has a great opportunity to learn about size and measurement, experimenting with measuring spoons, cups and different sized containers.
- He learns which things float in water.
- He is not concerned with the final product, so he does not find it frustrating.
WHEN YOUR CHILD WORKS WITH PUZZLES:
- She has an opportunity to work alone or together with other children.
- She gains satisfaction in completing a puzzle and builds her selfconfidence.
- She has an opportunity to improve her eye-hand coordination.
- She will use skills learned in doing puzzles later when she learns to read - putting letters to sounds, making words with letters, and making stories with words.
- She learns to play with others.
WHEN YOUR CHILD COOKS:
- She learns to follow directions.
- She stimulates and uses all five senses.
- She learns to recognize colors and shapes from different kinds of foods and kitchen utensils.
- She has an opportunity to use different tools and equipment to improve small muscle coordination.
WHEN YOUR CHILD LISTENS TO MUSIC, SINGS OR DANCES
- He learns to appreciate music from different countries, cultures, and time periods.
- He learns to express himself and his ideas.
- He increases his vocabulary.
- He gains satisfaction from participating in an activity that can be fun, physical, and enriching.
WHEN YOUR CHILD USES MANIPULATIVE ACTIVITES:
- She explores new concepts, practices emerging skills, and reinforces skills already mastered.
- She develops fine motor practice.
- She learns about classifying, sorting, predicting, problem solving, and analyzing results.
- She develops her knowledge of the world around her using real objects and concrete examples.
- She learns how to learn.
WHEN YOUR CHILD USES TECHNOLOGY AND COMPUTERS:
- He learns how machines work and how they can help him learn more.
- He practices eye-hand coordination, using the mouse.
- He is able to learn the processes necessary to use technology.
- He learns how to express his ideas through technology and share his ideas with others.
WHEN YOUR CHILD PLAYS WITH PUPPETS:
- She is able to verbalize her feelings using words.
- She can begin to understand the feelings of others.
- She can role-play and perhaps find solutions to situations that may disturb her.
- She stretchs her imagination.