Everyday that I sit in the yard at La Canada Preschool I believe that our children are learning best by playing and following their own curiosities, by solving real problems such as how to balance a stack of blocks or how to negotiate to have a turn holding the hose. Children need to feel it to learn it, they need to interact to feel they belong and they need to feel accepted for who they are.
When children can paint freely they are learning to develop their imagination, eye to hand coordination, relationships to space and size, and concepts of symmetry.
When we play with play dough we learn to see shape against the background of a table, which is a pre-reading skill. We see negative shapes when we use cookie cutters in the play dough, and the amount of substance remains the same even when the shape changes.
When we draw with crayons we are learning to hold a drawing implement, exercise creativity, that my ideas have value as well as concepts of color, size and shape.
Make time to play at home. Pretend you are a waiter in a restaurant and serve your child from a play menu, pretend you are the patient and your child can be the doctor, and just sit on the floor and see what happens.
Maybe if we all played a little more the world when be a better place. When was the last time you played?