Kids Want To Play
“No playing until you’ve finished your homework!” We’ve all heard that before. New research suggests, though, that imaginative play increases children’s academic success. Kids want to play before studies and we never thought that it’s necessary.
Playing is Finding
Kids naturally like to play make-believe. Studies have now shown how imaginative playing may prepare kids for school. In several studies, Singer and Singer’s (1992, 2001) research team trained parents, teachers, and home care providers in make-believe games that included lessons about numbers, colours, shapes, vocabulary, and reading. These researchers found that children who play with their caregivers in these imaginative ways make significant gains in readiness skills, as compared to a control group whose caregivers did not learn these play skills. Playing is also good for caregivers because it involves them as full partners in children’s development.
A significant percentage of American children, especially children from low-income families, enter kindergarten unprepared to learn. While high-quality care of parents and other caregivers can improve children’s school readiness. While engaging parents and children in early mediate techniques can be difficult. Imaginative play is one kind of care that is enjoyable for both parents and child. It is easier to teach than some other interventions and is effective in preparing children for school.
Learning through imaginative play has been incorporated into the curricula in Connecticut, Los Angeles, Birmingham, Alabama, and Ohio, just to name a few places. Researchers have also created and distributed a video-based program, entitled “Learning Through Play for School Readiness.” Under a U.S. Department of Education grant, it gave 2700 copies of this video to Head Start centres, PBS Ready-to-Learn Directors, public libraries, and other organizations that serve low-income communities. This video-based program trains parents and other caregivers to engage 3-5-year-old 5-year-old children in intrinsically motivating learning games that produce measurable gains in children’s key ready-to-learn skills, such as enhanced vocabulary.