Importance of Play in Early Childhood

As Early Childhood teachers, we understand the developmental stages of learning and we embrace the importance of play.  Here at Harrisburg Academy, we believe social skills are just as important as academic skills.  There is a lot to be said about play and the learning that comes with it.  Children are naturally social and curious creatures.  When left to explore in dress-up, art, building, and other activities, the magic of conversation, creativity, and cooperation sparks.  Young learners are immersed in having to think and act both independently and within a group.  Imagination and creativity overflows during these interactions.  We feel that providing our students with time to play is just as valuable as the time provided teaching pre-reading, writing, and math skills.

Children develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spacial skills, and self expression through creative art experiences and active play with items like building blocks and play dough.

They are encouraged to use their imagination, creative thinking skills, and problem solving when joining in dramatic play with classmates.

When participating in science lessons and hands-on lab experiences, Early Childhood students learn decision making, observation techniques, and inquiry skills. They are also actively learning early math skills, including number sense, estimation and measurement, and geometry.

Finally, outdoor play is an important part of our Early Childhood classes, teaching students important health lessons, communication and cooperation skills, and environmental awareness. All of these lessons are important to our developing students, and they make an Early Childhood education at Harrisburg Academy truly unique.

This blog was co-written by Jackie Stabach and Gretchen Qualls, Junior Kindergarten teachers.