Room 1 in the Family Center

Gabriel Guyton,
Head Teacher in Room 1

The Power of Play

I want to share part of this article from the Fred Rogers Center. It describes nicely the ideas of play and what Room 1 believes is important for children and their education. You can see why we have a play-based curriculum.

Through play, children “…practice pretending to be someone else in another place, making up character, plot, and dialogue for the stories they invent. They are, in truth, inventing abstract thinking—the act of stepping outside oneself and viewing a broader perspective of relationships.”

Fred Rogers said children use play as a way to “cope with life and to prepare for adulthood,” by learning to express their feelings and to solve problems.

Writing for Psychology Today, cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman writes that pretending has an important role in the development of “theory of mind,” or the “awareness that one’s thoughts may differ from those of other persons and that there are a variety of perspectives of which each of us is capable.” Knowing these perspectives exist is a critical step toward developing empathy and understanding.

Research also finds that play helps children develop self-regulation skills such as delayed gratification and reduced aggression.

University of California, Berkeley, psychology professor Alison Gopnik said, “The old standbys of water, sand, mixing bowls, and cardboard boxes are still the most effective ways for babies and young children to learn about the physical world, while the whole world of pretend—dolls and costumes and toy dishes—is the most effective way to learn about the social world.”

Deborah J. Leong and Elena Bodrova authors of “Accessing and Scaffolding Make-Believe Play,” stressed a more structured focus on pretend play: “Teaching children to play has to be as intentional and systematic as teaching literacy or math and at the same time must take a form very different from adult-initiated practices often used to teach these content-related skills.”

In Room 1, we have the best time scaffolding play and helping your children get to the next level in play. We have already started off the year with so much amazing play.

The Sound of Music

Children of all ages are naturally drawn to music. Infants coo at lullabies, toddlers bang on pots and pans with wooden spoons, and preschoolers sing and dance to music.

Children learn a variety of skills from musical experiences. Shaking, tapping, and beating instruments enhance fine motor development. Children listening for a beat, the sounds of different instruments, tunes, and lyrics are developing auditory discrimination.

Kids can experience the emotional effects of music by listening to and creating music that is soothing, exciting, or funny. Music promotes creative development as children experiment with new rhythms, sounds, and movements.

We are offering experiences of music through singing and instruments. During circle it is so fun to play drums and shake shakers. Best of all we have Betsy, the music teacher come to our classroom on Wednesdays and we go to her music room on Thursdays.

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