Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Now this new year’s resolution should be easiest of all to keep because it’s child’s play, that is making sure kids have time each day for play activities. As adults, we sometimes forget how tremendously important it is for children to just play. It’s easy to get busy, but play is so very important the United Nations High Commission has included the right to play as one of the Universal Rights of the Child.
Why is play so vital for children? Children learn thru play. They will use practically anything to play with and their actions will often be doing the same thing over and over, but this is play. Empty boxes can be as much fun as expensive toys, sweeping the floor as exciting as looking for pirate treasure. As they play, children learn, figure out, explore, and discover. Play is often very hard work as children are vigorously involved, both physically and mentally. They are developing their understanding of the world outside and themselves inside.
At this age, children are developing at an intense rate. The years before the age of 5 are the most sensitive time for learning. This means that home is really children’s first school and parents and caregivers are the first teachers. Making sure that children have time each day to play is a priority. Time to play is not necessarily time with games and toys or require us to play with children. Kids can play by themselves as well as with others. Nor is it organized activities or being entertained. Time to play could be building a tower with blocks, or taking all the socks out of the drawer. It might be putting a puzzle together or throwing rocks in a puddle. Play can happen at the kitchen sink as well as in a playroom. It can be delightful to watch or give us gray hairs!
In the words of Fred Rogers, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Could there be a better new year’s resolution than time to play?
There is a famous quote by George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing.” This weekend, I got to visit two places that are very connected to playing. The local toy store was having a celebration and sale. There were lots of families and kids of varying ages playing with some favorite toys and trying out new ones. There was another place that had people playing, but this time it wasn’t kids but grownups, who were determined they wouldn’t grow old.Continue Reading
Just recently, I got to meet–and have my picture taken–with actor Dean Cain who played Superman in the tv series Lois and Clark. Sometimes, the roots of careers can be found in how a child plays, so I asked Dean if, as a young child, pretend and imaginative play was a big part of how he played.Continue Reading
One of the most important ways that we can support children as they get ready to start kindergarten is let them have time and space to PLAY. Did you know that play is so essential to the healthy development of children that the United Nations High Commission has enshrined the right to play as one of the Universal Rights of the Child? Through play, children connect their inner and outer worlds, increasing their knowledge and understanding, and gaining confidence in themselves.Continue Reading
No athlete would simply arrive at a game one day and expect to play; there’s a lot that happens long before. Somehow though, we expect kids to just arrive at school one day and be able to do their best. Just like the athletes, preparation can help kids get ready for school. Many professional athletesContinue Reading
World Cup Soccer has started and some children will dream of one day playing in the championships. Did you notice that key word: PLAY? Whether it’s FIFA, the Olympics, the Stanley Cup or another great event and competition, the roots of Sport are PLAY. There will be some exciting soccer matches as these teams fromContinue Reading
During play, children can combine something they already know in a new or different way to create new brain connections. Play is important for early learning and it can happen in the most surprising places. Yesterday afternoon, Little Sister went to a birthday party at a gymnastics facility. She enjoyed jumping on the giant airContinue Reading
PLAY Makes Childhood Magical Recently, a popular article has been circulating written by Bunmi Laditan declaring “I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical.” This mom states that she’s had it with themed birthdays, elaborate crafts, and contrived memories. She explores some of the things that made childhood magical for her. After reading, I tried toContinue Reading
Play is not just a tool for young children’s early learning and development, it is a powerful way to connect hearts and lives for people of any age. Just last week, a police officer noticed a boy outside playing with a basketball and practicing shooting hoops. The officer requested and received permission to take hisContinue Reading
The Closing Ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics were an exciting display of color, light, music, and dance. While there were hundreds of adult performers, there were also hundreds of children. Three children wove their way through the magic of the story and the celebration. The athletes of future Olympic Games are the children of today.Continue Reading