Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
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?
Play is critical because play is how a child learns. The activity could be anything: throwing stones in a puddle, building with blocks, cuddling a stuffie, or putting together a puzzle. It could even be washing the dishes or helping to put away the groceries. If a child is eager and having fun, creating, discovering and manipulating, whatever the activity is can be considered play. Through play, children connect their inner and outer worlds, increasing their knowledge and understanding, and gaining confidence in themselves.
There is a tendency to dismiss play and say that it is not really learning, but if you could take a Magic School Bus field trip in a child’s brain during play, there would be all kinds of connections, growth, development and activity happening as that brain learns.
Children will learn many basic and readiness skills as they play. It can occur in any room in the house, at any time of the day, alone or with others. Play does not need fancy toys or programs. Kids will play with sticks and boxes, containers in the kitchen drawer, and things that give parents grey hairs.
Development for children at this age is tremendously important. Parents and caregivers are children’s first teachers and home is the first school. But there’s no reason for parents to panic. Nature, in its wisdom has determined that the most powerful tool for children to learn is PLAY! Imagine that. Now that’s planning! A critical time for development could be a problem if the answer wasn’t CHILD’S PLAY.
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
Millions of people around the world are watching the Olympics and likely, in many countries, their athletes are featured in stories. While the encyclopedia says the roots of the Olympics are from ancient Greece, could it be that the Games begin in PLAY? For athletes, getting to the Olympics has been a journey of hardContinue Reading
When grownups get to play, they really play. Outdoor ice hockey in Dodger Stadium? Along with beach volleyball and the rock band KISS? The extravaganza in Los Angeles, California may be because adults play so seldom. Over 54,000 people came out to play, underscoring that play is important no matter our age. In the wordsContinue Reading
In this brand new year, will your child be starting kindergarten? Are you asking, “Will my child be ready for kindergarten?” “What is kindergarten readiness anyway?” Could you use some answers? This is a series of posts that looks at some of the basics of getting your child ready to start kindergarten. Although this answerContinue Reading