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A Playful Nature

Builds a Strong Learning Foundation


Children are playful by nature. Their earliest experiences exploring with their senses lead them to play, first by themselves and eventually with others. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) views play as an important part of the learning process. “Children call play their work,” says Peter Pizzolongo, associate director at NAEYC. “When they’re learning and playing with joy, then it’s a positive experience. They develop a positive approach to learning.”

Simple play helps build many skills in young children. A recent Early Head Start activity at the Whites’ home visit, Family Partner, Berni Hornung put the focus on language, motor skills, and, most importantly, just having fun!

Lincoln, child, and his mother Caitlin used the grain box to promote language, fine motor skills, and family fun. Lincoln learned about descriptive words and their opposites: empty, full, big, little, hard and smooth. He also worked on building his fine motor skills as he scooped and poured seeds. Lincoln expanded on his play by sharing the bin with his sister burying their hands and feet to explore the grain textures.

Play is the foundation for all learning for young children, and giving a child the time and a few basics can provide them with a variety of valuable learning opportunities. Looks like Miss Berni hit this one out of the park!