Many Faces of Childhood
  • Block Play
  • Role Play
  • Shadows and Light
  • Real Life Experience
Block Play
Block play is one of the most powerful tools for constructing knowledge. It offers children the opportunity to physically and mentally engage while providing excellent large and small motor movement. Blocks address all domains of child development. Through practice children learn weight and balance concepts, explore stability, and learn about geometry. Unit Blocks, by their name and design, teach math language and understanding. They also provide opportunities for counting and understanding quantity. In block development, children gradually learn elements of art, architecture and engineering as they make arches and doorways, stabilize structure height, make levers, distribute weight and create form.
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Literacy is well encompassed in block play. Tales flow as children construct houses, towers, towns, buildings and imaginary places. Their creations take on a form of their own as children assume roles acting out characters in great detail and with much imagination. While interacting children develop social skills, learning to negotiate as well as value and respect the opinions and constructions of other.
Role Play
Piaget (1962), Vigotsky (1978) and Bruner (1990) have given us much of our understanding into the value of play in the development of children. Children are active participants and explorers in their daily encounters. Each time they have a new experience they are able to construct new meaning thereby developing a complex understanding of their world. Dramatic Play, also referred to as Symbolic Play, gives children the opportunity to act out their daily experiences. It is the processes by which children represent themselves in make believe situations.
Shadows and Light
Everything has a shadow and children are fascinated by this concept. The use of mirrors and shadow making equipment, such as light tables, screens, flashlights and overhead projectors, allows the children to watch their own images as they explore and play.
Real Life Experience
Field trips provide children with opportunities to have a first hand look at their topic of interest. These experiences help the children and teachers to formulate questions and pose hypothesis and develop theories.
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