Chloe is a rambunctious 4 year old, who, like her mother, calls me Grandpa. She runs at full throttle and full volume most of the time. She is inventive, expressive and yes, dramatic. If your auto-focus and shutter can keep up, she is also a photographer�s dream.
With increasing emphasis at school on developing academic skills in children at younger and younger ages, what role does dramatic (�pretend�) play have in early childhood? Is the idea of play merely a throwback to another time when we did not have as much information about how children learn to read and acquire math skills? Is play a luxury? Is it worth it to sacrifice playtime in order to make sure that children learn the letters of the alphabet and know how to count, especially those �at risk?� In any case, don't children already play enough at home?
There is a growing body of research that shows a link between play and the development of cognitive and social skills that are prerequisites for learning more complex concepts as children get older. For example, play is linked to growth in memory, self-regulation, oral language, and recognizing symbols. It has been linked to higher levels of school adjustment and increased social development. Play has also been linked to increased literacy skills and other areas of academic learning (a view held by Piagetian and Vygotskian theories of child development).
January 18th, 2013
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