Early childhood education experts concur that play is vital to healthy brain development in a child. In fact, it was termed as “the highest form of research” by the renowned scientist Albert Einstein of the yonder years. It is through play that kids are able to interact with the world around them. It allows them to learn how to master skills, explore, create, develop new competencies and conquer fears. Achieving all of this through play boosts confidence in kids and builds resiliency needed for facing and conquering future challenges. Best of all, play offers kids an opportunity to practice what they have learned.
Do daycare centers create an enabling environment for play?
Daycare personnel select, buy and design products that are appealing to the kids and which promote curricular content goals in interesting and meaningful way. Early childhood education products in this case must be durable enough so as to withstand the rigors of classroom settings, support the boundless benefits of learning, and most important, fit seamlessly into learning facilities such as daycare centers. Here are 10 play options that are appropriate for early childhood education centers:
Sensory play is an important part of early childhood education in that it builds nerve connections in the brain pathways that enable kids to complete more complex tasks. Sensory play products in this case aid in developing and building memory. Furthermore, they help children to learn sensory attributes such as cold, sticky, hot, dry, and so forth. Apart from this, sensory play and materials used in it are great for calming frustrated and anxious kids, providing them with a chance for success.
Products that are used in this play option are ideally suited to aid kids develop hand-eye coordination, language and vocabulary, motor skills, spatial reasoning, creative and divergent thinking, hone mathematical skills, long-term predictive powers, patterning, problem solving, and many more.
Puzzles and games
These two often require the child to make choices, decide which option to try or not or that would work better, then plan next steps to take, and lastly that work collaboratively. Completing puzzles and games provide a sense of accomplishment that younger kids feel good about. Furthermore, these help in developing cognitive, fine-motor and problem-solving skills.
Science and health
When kids are exposed to science at an early age, they are able to develop lifelong characteristics such as perseverance and patience. How, you might ask. Well, most things in science do not happen overnight, meaning that it takes a long time for positive results to show. Science teaches kids about the world around them, their bodies, encourage listening and talking. Not only this, science sparks creative problem-solving and how kids can help save the world they live in, for example, by encouraging them to recycle more and use less. These all are the perfect complement to the curiosity of younger learners.
Experts believe that dramatic play is an important part of early childhood education in the light of the many gains that are supported by way of pretend play. This helps kids to practice long-life skills such as creativity, storytelling, negotiating, problem solving, mathematics, and application of newly acquired knowledge. It also promotes taking turns, impulse control, sharing and cooperation. It also helps increase feelings of safety and protection, pride and accomplishment, self-esteem, and development of sense of individuality.
Kids who are enrolled in daycare centers and other early childhood education facilities acquire quality background knowledge and literacy skills and have a distinct and lasting advantage over children who do not posses these skills. Staff at quality daycare facilities have a strong commitment to building these foundational skills and provide the best literacy products. These products help in teaching and reinforcing phonemic awareness skills, promote language enrichment, develop vocabulary and alphabet recognition.
Creativity diversity and music
Daycare providers combine creative diversity and music products in a way that promotes integration. These products support the principal of multicultural education and offer a link to spatial intelligence. Music helps the kids to visualize different elements that need to go together, something that is very similar to problem solving. In addition, creative diversity and music promotes diversity of ethnic races and backgrounds, cultures, and support acceptance, positive self-regard and respect in own culture, as well as of others.
Reading and listening
Right through toddlerhood to preschool stages, kids learn vital language and enunciation skills. When books are read aloud, it reinforces basic sounds while building fundamental understandings of language. Furthermore, reading and listening products provide experiences for kids to apply logic in different scenarios, grasp abstract concepts, recognize cause and effect, etc.
Social and emotional
Healthy social-emotional development in younger kids goes hand in hand with healthy cognitive development, thereby creating a strong foundation for future school achievement. So as to support social-emotional development importance, play products in this category help the kids to learn, understand and put into practice basic emotional and social skills.
So as to form positive attitudes toward mathematics, it is crucial to provide an encouraging and engaging climate for kid’s early encounters with numbers, counting, or basic arithmetic. This way, children are able to develop confidence in their ability to understand and use mathematics and see it as within their reach.