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    Early Childhood Education: Striving to Balance Play with Academics

    Early childhood education has historically been recognized as a time for children to build skills through meaningful play. The benefits of play-based learning have been well researched, but it’s also important for educators and parents to keep in mind the potential negative impact of over-scheduling or too much emphasis on academic activities on young children’s development.

    Early childhood education has historically been recognized as a time for children to build skills through meaningful play.

    Early childhood education has traditionally been recognized as a time for children to build skills through meaningful play. As such, many early childhood educators have focused on creating an environment that promotes both academic learning and physical development.

    The benefits of play in early childhood education include:

    • developing social skills (e.g., sharing)
    • building physical competence (e.g., climbing stairs)
    • improving cognitive skills (e.g., alphabetization)

    The benefits of play-based learning have been well researched.

    Play-based learning is also an effective strategy for addressing the needs of children with special needs, who may require additional support. As a result of play-based education, children can develop social skills and confidence in themselves by playing games together. They learn how to solve problems together, communicate their feelings and opinions through play, express themselves creatively through storytelling or role-playing scenarios based on their interests (e.g., pretend house), explore their environment more deeply than they would be able to do alone—and much more!

    Playful learning provides children with opportunities to practice important skills such as cooperation (working together), communication (talking freely about what they want or need), problem solving/cognitive flexibility (thinking outside the box), creativity/imagination (imagine being someone else), self expression/expressionism (expressing yourself openly without being judged).

    Play supports development across the domains.

    Play supports development across the domains.

    The child’s physical, cognitive, social, emotional and linguistic development all work together to enable growth in Playful Learning. For example:

    • Physical Development – Through play you can support your child’s developing body through being active and moving around (e.g., jumping). You can also encourage them to move their bodies by doing things with them like turning legs into a circle or holding objects with their arms outstretched toward each other (see “Achievement for All”).
    • Cognitive Development – Through play you can support your child’s developing mind by encouraging them to think creatively about how they might use objects in different ways (e.g., using Legos as vehicles) or solve problems collaboratively while working together on puzzles instead of competing against each other (see “Playful Thinking”). This may help boost confidence as well!
    • Social Skills – Children learn best when they have opportunities where they explore new skills with others outside themselves so this is also something we try hard not only encourage but also promote through our programs which include nature walks away from school grounds along trails where children will get chances not only spend time outdoors but talk about what interests them most too…

    Play is important to long-term school success.

    Play is important to long-term school success.

    Children who play regularly are more likely to learn and retain information, have better social skills and develop language skills. They also tend to be more creative than their non-playing peers.

    The current movement toward increasing academic rigor in early education does not match the research on young children.

    The current movement toward increasing academic rigor in early education does not match the research on young children. The way we treat children’s play can have consequences for their learning and well-being in school and beyond.

    The way we treat children’s play can have consequences for their learning and well-being in school and beyond.

    The way we treat children’s play can have consequences for their learning and well-being in school and beyond. Research shows that over-scheduling children’s play may lead to poor academic outcomes, including lower test scores and less interest in schoolwork.

    Children need time to play, explore, learn how to learn (or “study harder”), make friends, regulate their emotions and more—all of which can be done outside the classroom setting as well as during after-school activities such as sports or clubs.

    If you’re worried that your child isn’t getting enough time for these crucial activities at home or elsewhere? Consider this: Research shows that when parents spend quality time together with their kids every day (even if it’s just an hour), they’re more likely than others not only know what makes them happiest but also feel connected to each other emotionally because they’ve been able do something special together every day since birth!

    Over-scheduling and too much emphasis on academic activities can negatively impact a child’s well being and ability to learn later on in life.

    The importance of play

    Play is one of the most important components of childhood. It helps children develop motor skills and social skills, while also providing opportunities for creativity. Playtime should be a time when your child feels free to explore their environment and make connections between things they see around them (and within themselves). This can help them learn about how things work in this world, which will allow them to understand ideas more fully later on down the road when it comes to schoolwork or other areas where knowledge may be needed

    Conclusion

    As we’ve seen, play is important for learning a wide range of skills. Over-scheduling and too much emphasis on academic activities can negatively impact a child’s well being and ability to learn later on in life. I hope this post has inspired you to think about how you can balance the needs of your children at home and school. Remember that even when we don’t always have time for play, there are ways we can make time for it!

    The Zigverve Team
    The Zigverve Team
    The dedicated team at Zigverve that aims at bringing you the best lifestyle updates from all over the world.

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