The Educator's PLN

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Why Is the Playtime at Preschool Essential?

Children grow and develop at their own pace, but research shows that group learning is often a more effective teaching tool than one-on-one interaction. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why playtime is so important in preschool:

Attention
Children typically have a short attention span. Anything from sugar to being three can cause a child a great difficulty when it comes to sitting in one place. Playtime focuses the mind so that the child will be less likely to disengage and more likely to explore their surroundings.

Cognition
Individuals learn more quickly when they are engaged than they do when they are bored. This is because engagement causes a spike in brainwave activity. This is why students can ace a test about something in which they have no interest, simply for having applied the principles of the lessons to something they appreciated. Playtime encourages learning.

Peer Bonding
One of the most recognized benefits that preschool has to offer is the encouragement of peer bonding. As children learn to interact with their peers, they can both display autonomy, a lack thereof will alert a preschool teacher to any number of things including anything from developmental delays to abuse at home and learn the value of sharing. Peer interaction also promotes collaborative problem solving which the child will use much later.

Additional Advantages
Playtime can give a child many ways to interact with the world around them. Self-play, such as pretend, encourages abstract thinking and increases brain wave activity. Other children may use playtime to challenge themselves in one area or another. Instructors can begin to profile their students by which activities in which they engage readily, those which they avoid and how well they interact with others.

About The Author:

Oscar Marin is the owner of The Vine Infant Center, one of the leading infant child care centers and preschool in San Diego, CA providing daycare for infants. He is highly concerned with the newborn infant care and infant health care and ensures infants’ overall development since 2007.

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Tags: care, child, education, preschool

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Comment by Oscar Marin on July 15, 2014 at 8:06am

Thanks Robin and Rebecca for your responses. As mentioned "There is no time to play... only a ten minutes recess time", what we believe is overburdening a child with everyday academic schedule can noway be fruitful. In that case neither they would learn nor enjoy! I appreciate that you can do it in your age too, still the things learnt in childhood can never be replicated. Hope you agree

Comment by Robin Elise Ruiz on July 3, 2014 at 4:23pm
Isn't Kindergarten the graduating class of preschool?
Shouldn't play time be a part of all grade levels?
The reason I ask these questions ? What is happening with motivation?
Can we liken ourselves(educators) to having fun?
I have an extremely creative mind-and it will find time to play !
Playtime also allows the brain to expand !
I was talking to a colleague who teaches at the elementary level! She said " before a student can pass kindergarten, he must be able to write eight complete sentences on topic,"
There is no play time or nap time. There is a ten minute recess time!
We live in a state that has not made any read or math gains in four years in grades 4-10.
Let the children play! Make sure they have a solid foundation of basic skills (21 century)
Let the teachers play - we need to put fun back into learning!
Comment by Rebecca Howard on July 1, 2014 at 5:15pm

Thanks for sharing, Oscar! I recently saw a TedTalk that MindShift shared on how free play can help kids avoid depression/anxiety, as well. 

Here's a link: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/can-free-play-prevent-depre...

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