By the time that children have reached 12 months of age, they will begin to entertain themselves through the power of play. Self-directed play stimulates cognitive learning and functionality, and will help to stimulate higher order thinking and create synaptic connections between the 100 billion existing neurons. In preschool, it is the teaching staff's responsibility to encourage the power of play, and to take advantage of playtime to teach 5 very important concepts that encourage self-learning, identity building and the development of problem solving skills.
Teaching the Ability to Maintain a Safe Environment and Safe Playing
Children tend to become aggressive when they are playing, and it is not uncommon to see hands and feet flying everywhere. It is the teaching staff's responsibility to take this opportunity to teach young children responsibility, and their roles.
The teaching staff at the preschool, like Kid's Country Child Care & Learning Center, should make sure children become more aware of their surrounding environment and whether there are any safety hazards present. Children should also take this opportunity to identify whether any activities should be stopped or changed in order to avoid getting injured.
The teaching staff should write down some basic rules that will teach children etiquette when playing and how to avoid dangerous or unsafe situations. This may include making sure that excessive force is never used.
Learning About Fairness and How to Ensure No One's Feelings Are Hurt
Studies have shown that 1 in 7 students from kindergarten to grade 12 are either bullies or have been bullied. Bullying is an important national issue that should be taught at a young age. While the children are playing, the teaching staff should monitor the type of games and activities that are being played out.
Take this opportunity to teach the children about fairness and how to include everyone in order to make sure that no one's feelings may be hurt. For example, if some children have been hogging certain toys, teach them how to be more sensitive to others around them and share.
In addition, this is also an ample opportunity for the teaching staff to teach the children how to make their feelings known, and how to deal with hurt feelings. Those who are upset should be comfortable bringing up their emotions with their peers, and it is important to teach children from an early age how to respect the feelings of others, how to avoid hurting other people's feelings, and how to control and express their own emotions.
Encouraging the Development of Self-Identity and Morality
When playing, young children tend to take on various roles. Most children tend to play cops and robbers at some point in time. Young children tend to take advantage of this time in order to learn about what is "wrong" and what is "right", as well as what their beliefs are. Make sure to encourage children to take on various roles when role-playing in order to help them develop self-identity.
In addition, the teaching staff should consider partaking in some of the role-playing games in order to help children develop a better sense of morality.
Developing Problem-Solving Skills
Numerous problems will arise during playtime, and it is important that the teaching staff monitor all activities closely in order to help children develop better problem-solving skills. Present various different problems and situations to the children, and have them come up with their own solutions.
This is also a great time for the teaching staff to help encourage problem-solving skills to come up with constructive alternatives rather than resorting to violence or temper tantrums.
Becoming Aware of the Surrounding Environment and Learn How to Better Socialize
Last but not least, children should learn how to better interact and socialize with one another by taking environmental cues and becoming more aware of the environment. During playtime, the teaching staff can help children better determine more effective social techniques and manners, and also learn how to be more aware of the surrounding environment and taking in cues regarding the bigger picture.
Preschool is an important learning time for most toddlers and adolescents. It is crucial that the teaching staff is properly versed, trained and educated on their roles in encouraging the development of higher cognitive abilities in young children. Do not underestimate the power of play. Many concepts can be taught during playtime, and children are like sponges, and can easily absorb all of the information that is bring provided to them.Share