Childhood experts agree that play is important to the social and emotional growth of a child. Think back to your own fond memories of play during your childhood. What did those play experiences teach you? Share an experience with your classmates and explain how it was important to your development. Then, consider the increased demands for academic achievement associated with the 'No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) act. Can those demands and the priority for play-based learning co-exist in an early childhood classroom? Why or why not?
A good book to review for more information on play is "The Power of Play", by David Elkind.
Think of a play experience as simple as playing with playdoh. What do you think children learn just from playing with this material? Most will come up with fine motor development, a very important skill necessary for children to gain in order to be able to learn to write.
Through the experience of watching a child in kindergarten and first grade, most teachers work to provide some form of play and creative experiences within the classroom, but ...
The role of play in children's development.