This piece is brought to you by Play & Grow’s partnership with FPAWS! Autumn’s just round the corner and Winter won’t be that far behind. Facilitate PLAY, foster literacy and fundraise for FPAWS—a win-win-win! Order a set of Go PLAY Activity Cards and raise money for FPAWS by mentioning us in your order notes. Play & Grow will donate 10% for 10-20 sets of Cards sold; 15% for 21-35 sets, 20% for 36-50 sets; and 25% for anything over 50.
Usually, when September rolls around, kids are gearing up to head back for a new school year. This year coronavirus has changed everything. One of the biggest changes is how they’re expected to learn: Think home-based learning. From preschool to high school, kids are getting their educational instruction while home.
For preschoolers this isn’t too far afield from what is typically done. Young children look to the adults in their lives to…
take them to new places
show them how things work
experience the sensory aspects of life
In other words, to introduce them to new people, places and things so they can start to make sense of the world around them. What IS different now of course, per CoVid 19, is this is to be done at home.
Kiddos engaged in Go PLAY Activity Card activities
For their development to continue forward, young children must be given ample, appropriate, learning opportunities. Characteristics of appropriate, learning opportunities include 3 overarching principles:
1. An understanding of child development and how they learn
2. Differentiating between Ages & Stages in general versus what a specific child experiences—including their likes/interests
3. Realizing every child is part of at least one cultural family
To put the above into an example, a developmentally appropriate learning highlights the fact children
● learn via their senses
● benefit from PLAY-based, child-led activities
● are individuals—offer more than one option
● are empowered when their culture/heritage is incorporated into the curriculum
That’s where Play & Grow comes in. Play & Grow provides interactive PLAY ideas, PLAY-based learning activities and resources supporting PLAY because to THRIVE, children MUST PLAY! PLAY is the natural & holistic way young children learn. Even though 2020 seems to be shaping up as one of the most contentious years in a while, I think we can all agree on one thing: We want ALL children to THRIVE! With that agreement plus adults who care for/about and are committed to children, success is within every child’s reach.
Luckily, learning opportunities don’t have to be all that involved. Things that happen in your everyday Life can serve as the basis for creating learning activities for your children. Additionally, learning opportunities don’t have to be expensive. In fact, many meaningful learning activities are inexpensive, do-it-yourself type projects. For example, one of the inexpensive learning activities mentioned in the link is the Reflections PLAY-Ponder Pack. There are many ways kiddos can play with it after they’ve had enough time to thoroughly look through it. Just some of the ways items in the Reflections PLAY-Ponder Pack can be used:
Reflections PLAY-Ponder Pack
● sorted/classified by shape or use
● compare for their reflective and refractive properties—plus learn new science terms in the process!
● accessories/props for storytelling or dramatic play
Each PLAY-Ponder Pack is unique and potentially always growing and changing with the addition of new items.
Play & Grow’s Go PLAY Activity Cards continue to advocate for children by promoting and supporting PLAY (which really means LEARNING) for young children. Supporting PLAY by:
●Providing detailed material lists and instructions on learning activities while offering options or choices
because flexibility is important as is being cognizant and respectful of varying economic situations
●Demonstrating nursery rhymes or fingerplays via video
●Suggesting children’s books and pairing them with learning activities
●Noting benefits of children reciting nursery rhymes or doing fingerplays for their development
Promoting PLAY by:
●Children learn from the familiar outward. Go PLAY Activity Cards use the seasons of the year creating (4) thematic, sets of Cards—Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer
●Cards facilitate PLAY—each set consists of (8) Cards containing a minimum:
-(8) nursery rhyme/fingerplay videos plus benefits
-(16) hands-on learning activities
-(8) suggested books; books theoretically available from your local library, purchased online or from your local bookstore; OR soon-to-be on video by me due to CoVid19 closing libraries!
●Cards foster literacy—use photos on Cards as prompts for storytelling
●Cards strengthen math readiness skills—use photos on Cards for sorting/categorizing
A card from the Summer set of Go PLAY Activity Cards
Play & Grow’s Go PLAY Activity Cards are a useful resource to have handy for a variety of situations–waiting for a doctor’s appointment; riding on the bus; using as a behavior reward; or, as always, as a PLAY prompt!
Encourage and create more PLAY—which remember really means LEARNING– plus raise money to support the important work Foster Parent Alliance of Washington State does. FUNdraise with the Go PLAY Activity Cards and benefit FPAWS!
Karen Whittier – Early Childhood Engineer, Play Specialist & Toy Curator at playandgrow.com