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Scarlett Hilton




03 Jul 1990

  • 11534 Rank

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Published on: 18 Nov 2016 by scarlett-hilton

Preschool Education: Playing To Learn

The importance of play in a child's life is now generally recognized, but the shops are stocked with such a bewildering variety of playthings that it is often difficult to choose what is most suitable for age groups and experience.

The right piece of equipment can enrich a child's experience and keep him contented and happy for half an hour, but this does not necessarily mean a large financial outlay.

Play does not necessarily depend on so called "play equipment" and many things can be pressed into service by a child. Sticks and stones, earth and water, the contents of the kitchen cupboard or the tool shed, the garden gate, trees, or odds and ends of colored material.

Materials provided in centers and kindergartens are designed to stimulate the child as well as release feelings.

A child who lives in the country or has a large garden in which to play has a great many facilities for the type of play that young children find most satisfying — space to run, trees to climb, earth in which to dig.

But in small suburban gardens experiences in playing must often be planned using other types of play materials. 

Young children have very strong feelings but often cannot put them into words. Many kinds of play material provide a satisfying outlet for tensions, for example dressing up, playing with water, painting and drawing, digging in the sand, pounding clay or hammering nails into a lump of wood. 

Through play materials a child learns to form his own concepts of the world. By looking, feeling, tasting, listening, manipulating whatever attracts him he learns its size, color, shape, weight, texture and what he can do with it.

The earliest forms of play are usually confined to push and pull toys, carry-about objects, building materials and match, thread and put together toys.

In the three-to-four age group children indulge a great deal in make believe, dressing-up, playing house, improvising for cars, boats and airplanes. They express their ideas with large drawings of paint or crayon and test their strength with boxes and planks and balancing materials.

In the year before school, most children become more interested in facts and they look for more objects with the "do with" quality. Much of their play is, concerned with acting the part of people, animals and things that interest them.

Organized play within their age groups prepares children for school and its demands without placing strain on their individual personalities.

Indeed, the expression "easy as child's play" is overworked and entirely untrue. Child's play is one of the most important developments in children's lives.

Learning can be fun with right toys

From thick, formative, plain and colored pencils for little hands, to left-handed scissors, you'll find numerous invaluable aids to your child's learning process.

These aids include pre-reading to pre-maths materials, science kits, microscopes and games using magnets, as well as thick, washable, non-toxic felt-tip pen and paints.

Games and puzzles using numbers and letters are an excellent way to start your child off on the right foot for school and budding musicians will love the music books and cassettes for both preschool and primary school aged children.

Matching library bags and painting smocks will protect those expensive items like school wear and books.



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