“Play is the highest form of research.” -Albert Einstein

Hello, today I’d like to talk about the importance of activities in our lives, specifically children’s lives. I was a nanny at the beginning of this year and the parents would get upset if I let their children play for too long. They, instead, insisted that I sit them down, make them do a pile of worksheets each and then read five books. They were 4 and 6 years old, the 4-year-old wasn’t even in any kind of school at the time and the 6-year-old went to Kindergarten every week day. I thought that it was ridiculous that they expected so much from such little children. They would actually cry when it was time to do those work sheets and books. They hated it. You know why? Because forcing a child to do those things actually isn’t good for them. Yes, they need to learn their ABC’s and to count to like 100 before they start school but leave the homework and worksheets to the school age teachers. There really is no reason to sit there and FORCE a 4 and 6-year-old to do countless worksheets and read books that are a little difficult for them. Mind you, the 4-year-old couldn’t read at all.

Play is the BEST form of learning for children. They learn math, science, language skills, and countless other things that are needed before they start school. Instead of forcing them to do a math worksheet, introduce them to a game that has numbers. Math isn’t just math problems, it starts so much earlier than that.

This semester, for my summer classes, I have been taking a child development class and we are discussing developmentally appropriate activities for children 2-5 years old. Worksheets shouldn’t be given to children that young because it actually does begin to kill their creativity.

I can go on forever about what to do and what not to do but the next time you feel like your child needs to really learn something, let him play with blocks or play dough rather than handing him or her a stack of papers to work on.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Thanks for reading!

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