As we continue to work on all areas of development inside, we're also going to get outside as much as possible. The beautiful weather we can (hopefully) expect this month will provide us with a plethora of opportunities to explore the outdoors, checking out dirt and rocks, the little insect world at our feet, dropping sand through our fingers, and playing on the climbers to enter a novel play environment.
The Friday of May 9th we will have “Muffins with Mom or Someone Special.” This event will occur during drop off time from 6:30 to 9:00, and we'd love for you to join your child, his or her classmates, and their families for a special bonding event over, what else, MUFFINS.
What is valuable play? Is there play that isn’t valuable?
As parents and caregivers, there are many ways we can facilitate play both in and out of the classroom. Most importantly, we should try to focus on the learning that happens during play. Do not always think about an activity that meets a certain goal or standard; instead, think about an activity that your child might be doing and what type of learning can come from it. Most activities that your child naturally explores can teach a skill. Is your young child banging on pots and pans? Think about noises and how pots and pans make one sound, and cups might make another. Explore the concept of louder and quieter, as an example.
Free play is very important for children as well. Children should be able to have activities to choose from and be able to play with whatever activity they would like. This allows a parent or caregiver to see what special interests the child might have, and will help a child develop skills based on things they enjoy.
Play is valuable when it happens in a number of different settings. Allow children to play both indoors and outdoors. Give them the opportunity to play in the back yard, playground, or a local park. Different settings provide different play experiences for children. Playing with blocks on a hard surface and then on beach sand will create a totally different experience and teach a totally different skill.
While all play can be valuable, the more active and independent play is, the more valuable it becomes. Video game play does not provide the type of play that facilitates learning and growing. Play is most valuable when it is hands on. We try to keep all these aspects of play in mind every day while engaging with your children.
Source: Zero to Three