PLAY IS NOT A 4 LETTER WORD- Understanding why play is the work of childhood and how it stimulates brain development.
In India, the focus in most early childhood centers’ is on teaching kids reading, writing, number work and so ‘rote and drill’ methods are a preferred teaching styles. But if 98% of the brain develops in the first five years- then is a foundation of ‘drill and rote’ learning good for kids? Ofcourse not! This kind of foundation is creating students that lack logic, thinking and questioning skills. Whereas, a play based curriculum helps stimulate brain growth and nurtures the growing executive functions of the brain. Play helps children learn better, retain better and enjoy the learning process. Play teaches kids to reason, use logic, plan, work with others, sometimes lead and sometimes follow, to win or lose, to shake hands and make up after a fight.
So should we do away with all ‘learning’ in Kindergartens?
Play is not the enemy of learning. It is “learning’s” partner. Play is the fertilizer for brain growth. Play is learning for kids. Did you know that the foundation of geometry and physics is laid in the kindergarten years? Yes, it is. Children interact with the basic principles of geometry and physics when they play with blocks! This why the kindergarten years are important and so is play in these years, because after all play is the work of childhood.
Every child goes through kindergarten, but how many teachers and parents actually know the meaning or the founder of kindergarten. Today in India, kindergarten has become K.G and it stands for reading, writing and number work, only. However, is that the real kindergarten?
Friedrich Froebel, a German educationist was the founder of the kindergarten system. “Kindergarten” is a German word which means “children’s garden’, i.e., a place in which young human minds are cultivated. According to him, “the development of the child is to be through play. In play, the child makes the internal external and so the work of teaching in the kindergarten system is to be done in the play spirit. The child will be and should be taught everything through play.”
PLAY IS THE WORK OF CHILDHOOD, SO LET KIDS PLAY.