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jcm's Message:

We are really frustrated with our school system/administration because the "minutes" they require for each subject each day does not leave any minutes for play. We used to have more flexibility, but for some reason, they are expecting more and more academics (not based on any data). When we bring up the importance of play, the response is to design more curriculum designed "play" activities. We don't consider structured/teacher-designed activities as play and believe kids need to have access to a variety of materials and experiences where they can freely design their own play choices and scenarios. I don't think we will get anywhere with this unless we have some solid research about why play is important in kindergarten. I would love a research/academic article with data, some of the typical short articles wouldn't be credible enough.
Thanks!

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
kindiesarefun 01-26-2020 06:55 PM

That is so frustrating! We are lucky because our principal lets us give the kids plenty of play time each day. I actually start my day with about 45 minutes of play and we always go outside to play at least twice a day. As for research, follow Defending the Early Years on facebook--it is a great resource!

ElizabethJoy 12-29-2019 07:12 PM

Sorry you have to do this! You'd think common sense would be enough

Tons of good stuff here (copy and paste the link): https://scholar.google.com/scholar?h...+in+kindergart .

Although I am allowed to include a fair bit of free play time in my classroom, I do also sneak a lot of play-based activities into my curriculum. For example, one of our centres is always an imaginative play activity tied to a book we have read. Usually it would be one of our felt sets, (we have animals, farms, circus theme etc), our lego, blocks, or treehouse playsets and they can role-play scenarios based around something we have read e.g. building the houses from the three little pigs out of lego and re-enacting the story. In reality, I don't care if they are retelling the exact story we read or just doing their own thing. Either way, they're still working on their fine-motor, vocabulary, problem solving skills etc. But if someone asks, the activity is tied to curriculum.

Free-range STEM activities are also a good way to get kids playing without ticking off admin who don't understand the importance of play e.g. they are not playing, they are designing structures and creatures with pipe cleaners and pom poms. (and then playing with them....shhhh...)

Lakeside 12-18-2019 03:16 AM

Quote:
We don't consider structured/teacher-designed activities as play...
You are correct. They are absolutely not "play"!

Quote:
...and believe kids need to have access to a variety of materials and experiences where they can freely design their own play choices and scenarios.
Correct again. If this important part of development is skipped, it actually hurts academics (and mental health!) later.

Try The Power of Play (by David Elkind, Ph.D.) and check the back for references to studies.

Poke around here as well:
https://letgrow.org/
jcm 12-17-2019 04:58 PM

We are really frustrated with our school system/administration because the "minutes" they require for each subject each day does not leave any minutes for play. We used to have more flexibility, but for some reason, they are expecting more and more academics (not based on any data). When we bring up the importance of play, the response is to design more curriculum designed "play" activities. We don't consider structured/teacher-designed activities as play and believe kids need to have access to a variety of materials and experiences where they can freely design their own play choices and scenarios. I don't think we will get anywhere with this unless we have some solid research about why play is important in kindergarten. I would love a research/academic article with data, some of the typical short articles wouldn't be credible enough.
Thanks!




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