Dear Discovery Center Friends and Families,
The Discovery Center is founded on a mission to ensure all children have rich opportunities to learn through play. Why is play so important to the social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development of children?
Play is when children are motivated to actively engage and be curious and spontaneous, resulting in joyful discoveries for children and tools for thinking about their world.
When children are actively engaged in play, they build executive functioning. These skills help children to be confident learners. The Early Learning Framework from EduTribe notes that children build a range of skills and processes through play including problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, and investigation.
Play is a mix of activities that are structured and unstructured but in all experiences the environment is encouraging to learning and exploration. During play children need time to explore alone, with friends and with caring adults. Each environment and social configuration enhance the quality and range of learning for our children.
For example, simple activities with playdoh facilitate exploration and sometimes the play time is completely unstructured and open ended and sometimes is focused like designing playdoh cookies for your friend or it becomes a game or challenge. Important to all play is helping children talk about their exploration and explain their thinking.
You can visit EduTribe to find five days of fun ideas to build environments for play.
Everyday part of our responsibility to our children, from the minute they are born, is to support their learning and to prepare them for their future. That preparation includes opportunities for children to flex their curiosity, collaboratively explore, use their imagination, and create new and interesting ideas.
Have fun with journey…play is fun,
Dr. Brenda Myers