What's the deal with Play Time anyway?
Most early childhood classrooms have a whole section of the classroom dedicated to playtime. Miniature sized kitchens filled with plastic cups, plates, pots and pans, and of course the iconic play food. Dress up boxes, costumes, and props litter the floor with endless games, roles, and adventures to be conquered. It's true, this may have been a staple of your own childhood. But, why are some early childhood educators so adamant about including this in their classroom? As a way to pass the time and fill space? Certainly not. Play is SO much more than just make-believe. As Maria Montessori explained, "Play is the work of the child."
Here are 4 reasons why we think Play Time should be a part of every early childhood classroom!
1. Rich Language Environment: Play time gives students the opportunity to have conversations with one another! It will increase their vocabulary and learn how to use it in a more conversational setting
2. Developing Social Skills: Social skills are just like any other skill–they require practice. Play time is the perfect setting for children to work on appropriately interacting with their peers.
3. Practicing Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution: Conflicts are a part of life and it is important for children to learn how to solve problems on their own. When play time occurs, disagreements are likely to happen between students. Teachers can then step in and assist students in practicing conflict resolution and transition them to doing it on their own.
4. Cognitive Skill Development: Play time increases executive functions and memory capacity. It also gives room for imagination and other cognitive skills to develop in these young minds.
Want to learn more about Play Time and its benefits? Join us in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) major to explore how you can use Play Time in your future classroom!