Twin Cities Mom Collective

The Power of Play | 4 Tips for Increasing Play at Home

The traditional focus of education is changing. It used to be writing, reading, arithmetic and self-help skills were thought most valued for academic success. Today, we know executive function is, in fact, a bigger predictor. Therefore, early childhood experts are changing their view on how children should spend their days.Children need more time. . .

Time to think, make decisions, even wander, and consider before making a choice. They need flexibility to imagine, experiment, discover and . . . PLAY. It can take children a long time (in an adult’s mind) to settle into play because they need to create a storyline, assign roles, and agree on both! This involves decision making, problem solving and collaboration. These are the skills that predict academic success and promote social emotional development. They also develop most efficiently though play!

At Kinderberry Hill, we continue to make play a priority! We know that extended periods of child-led play promote Kindergarten readiness and executive function skills. Executive function develops very rapidly in the early years, so as caregivers and parents we must mindfully prioritize this process. If we want our future leaders to have strong self-regulation and high levels of executive function, we cannot divide their day into 30-minute blocks of adult directed instruction in early childhood settings.

“Play gets contrasted with learning, and because we want children to learn more, we cut playtime. But by doing that, we remove a powerful tool from our toolkit”

Dr. Megan Gunnar, Regents Professor of Child Development and Director of the Institute of Child Development.

As trusted leaders in our field, we will always allow the latest research to guide us to ensure the absolute best early childhood experience for children and families.

Rest assured, we will continue to introduce children to early reading, writing, mathematics, and science concepts, through small group teacher directed activities, however we will also be intentional about providing ample play and exploration. This will ensure children develop those important executive function skills along the way. We look forward to creating beautiful memories, friendships (and endless brain connections) with our children through play.

Tips for increasing play at home. . .

  • Unplug! Set aside time each day when all family tablets, TVs and phones are off. See what happens- more than likely, it will be PLAY.
  • Allow for longer periods of uninterrupted play. Look at your daily schedule, if you eat dinner earlier, will there be a longer stretch of time to play before bed? Where can you tweak to extend playtimes?
  • Bring items from nature inside. Sometimes a family walk collecting treasures can elevate those play at home!
  • Add loose parts to toys. Clothes pins, fabric scraps, buttons, rocks, or shells can easily enhance the way children play with their toy animals, cars, blocks, etc.

Kinderberry Hill Child Development Centers

The Kinderberry Hill experience is about the sense of comfort and security you feel when your child is warmly greeted each morning by teachers and friends and the pride you feel in your child’s daily progress and accomplishments. When families visit us for the first time, they comment on how the look and feel of our school is unlike any other early childhood program they have seen. The only way to fully appreciate the advantages of Kinderberry Hillis to come see for yourself.

When you choose us, you are choosing a community of care for your entire family. We truly value the partnership between home and school. We cherish the successes of our youngest learners, just as we do our alumni who continue to make us proud long after they have graduated from Kinderberry Hill. Throughout your family’s time with us, we host numerous family-friendly events and celebrations. We express our appreciation through tuition credits for referrals, family conveniences, and family gifts lovingly crafted by your children!

Twin Cities Metro Locations:

  • Eden Prairie
  • Edina
  • Minneapolis
  • Plymouth
  • Roseville
  • St. Paul
  • Woodbury

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