(Written by Heather Ilardi and Edited by Elle Yi) Through play in the classroom, children test facts and redefine human relationships. They also explore their creativity and imagination while guided by parents and teachers. In fact, children can learn through investigation, experimentation, taking initiative, making choices and interacting with other children and adults.
Parents need to realize that creativity is encouraged when kids focus not on the product, but on the process of creation.
According to the educational philosophy at Croton community nursery school (CCNS) in New York, the program for the children is based upon the knowledge that “children learn through play”. The process of learning and fun take place simultaneously as children make contact with the world around them.
The philosophy of Learn Through Play at CCNS indicates that children can develop best in a climate of caring, respect and trust. Skilled teachers can provide each child with an educational experience that increases his or her feeling that the world is a good place in which to live, and helps each child to develop a sense of self worth.
Heather Ilardi who is an occupational therapist in NY, simply recommended the tips of play for parents in accordance with the Tips for Living by the American OT Association. She indicates that it is critical for parents to emphasize the importance of exploratory, manipulative and imaginative play in kids’ development, as they are growing up in the rapidly advancing world of technology.
The following tips for play was suggested by Heather Ilard.
- Encourage exploratory play by using ball, sand and water toys, slides, swing, and finger paints. During exploratory play, children use their senses as they explore, discover, examine and organize their activities. The best toys require active participation. Through the use of a rich variety of creative materials, they explore the world of creativity and imagination.
- Try manipulative play by asking the child to perform a task, such as tacking cereal boxes, slipping coins into a piggy ban, or playing with a deck of cards. Handling items such as puzzles, pegboards, beads and lacing cards test the child’s eye and hand coordination and dexterity.
- Suggest imaginative or symbolic play that includes role-playing, playing with dolls and stuffed animals, toy furniture, and telephones. This type of pretend play encourages good social skills and a positive self-image. Through play, children test facts, define and redefine human relationships.
The goal of desigining playroom is to provide children with a safe environment where they can learn to explore and interpret sensations. Parents can designate a room for kids’ playroom that they like. Children can simply enjoy the environment and the activities. Moreover, parents can allow kids to help in the design of their playroom. Giving them more freedom in choices involving decor and other items will encourage them to spend time there learning and playing.