Last week I heard the word “play” used on the nightly news and learned that the American Academy of Pediatrics released a clinical report about The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children. I know that preschool teachers across America were smiling (our preschool teachers certainly were!) as many of us know this, have observed it, and advocate for it every single day. As the push to prepare a child for what’s ahead is the constant message that is passed down to parents of young children, it’s important for us to remember that children need to play in order to learn. It’s through playful interactions with parents and caregivers that young children build their vocabulary, cognitive, physical, and social skills. This is play that is decided by, and from the lively mind and imagination of, the child. This is how children learn creative expression, practice new skills like cutting with scissors, or put together a puzzle, for example. They’re making decisions and plans through play. They can take risks and challenge themselves to try new things, develop and practice the words they hear, make scientific discoveries (we found a frog on our playground last week), and so much more. Play is the context for active hands-on learning. Our advice to parents is to think about and recall your early memories of playing, and allow time for free play in your child’s day whenever you can. One of our favorite quotes in the Preschool is by Fred Rogers: “When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.
Plan to attend our Preschool Back-to-School Luncheon on Friday, September 7th at 10:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity for you to meet other families in your child’s class, hear about the daily routine, and learn about the goals for the year. Chef Matt will be providing the pizza and a SignUpGenius has been created to help with side dishes, drinks, and cups. Sign up here. Ideally one parent for each child can attend this event. We hope to see you there!
Music and Creative Movement Classes by Faith Murphy
Music and Movement has been off to a great start! In music class, we learned a song about an owl who would ask, “HOO-HOO, Who are you?” as a way to learn each other’s names. We also sang Bingo and used our own names to learn the letters in our names. In creative movement class, we began playing simple games that introduce the concept of spatial awareness. How can we run around the room without bumping into friends? Can we stop moving when asked, and find our seats? These are concepts that seem easy, but in fact they can be very challenging for little ones. We will see the concept of spatial awareness reimagined through games and activities throughout the year.