Dr. Bruce Perry on Play

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8th, 2009 by LindaKimura – 2 Comments

What do Dr. Bruce Perry and his colleagues say about play?

“Play and exploration are crucial activities for young children. They help the child’s brain develop in optimal ways. Child sensitive spaces, semi-structured activities and opportunities for exploration are safe, nurturing and enriched in developmentally appropriate stimulation should be the core elements of all child-focused programs. Play and exploration grow the brain – healthy play and exploration grows healthy brains.

Through play, a child’s sense of who she is can become more defined and integrated. As she learns about herself and the world, she acquires a wide range of important developmental, social, and cognitive skills, as well as positive inner traits, that help form the basis for happiness, productivity and a healthy future. Play-related skill building tracks with neurodevelopment. As described above, the brain organizes from the bottom to the top

Gross motor skills, such as walking, kicking, or skipping, can be enhanced when a toddler pushes a toy grocery cart or an older child jumps rope. When a young child kicks a ball across the room, she is practicing coordination by balancing on one foot to kick with the other. She is additionally developing larger muscle control, tone and flexibility, qualities that may help her score the winning goal when she is old enough to play soccer.

Children can develop advanced fine motor and manipulation skills while playing as they use their fingers to build and color a sign for a backyard tree house. When throwing and catching a ball, they are practicing hand-eye coordination and their ability to grasp. They are even developing the muscle control and coordination needed to one day write a letter to a friend, as they scribble with a pencil on paper.

Children have opportunities to enhance their language skills through play by talking and singing with other children. A child’s interactions with and repetition of his playmates help him master the semantics of language as he participates in spontaneous rhyming and word play. While having fun, he increases his play-related speech, his sentence length, and his vocabulary.

The child’s cognitive, or mental, abilities can also be enhanced by play. A child’s play often involves physical and mental trial and error, problem-solving tasks, and an ability to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information. Play requires the child to make choices and direct activities and often involves strategizing, or planning, to reach a goal. Through pleasurable play, children often become motivated and perseverant, qualities that frequently may later translate into the classroom.

While enjoying their play, children can acquire a wide range of interpersonal/social skills, ranging from communication to cooperation. When children argue about who stepped “out of bounds” and agree upon a “do over,” they are learning how to negotiate, compromise and work together. They are learning about teamwork when they huddle together and decide how they will position themselves for the next shot. The child gains an understanding about those around him and may become more empathetic and less egocentric. When playing with peers, children are developing a learning system of social rules, including ways to control themselves and tolerate their frustrations in a social setting.

Children have opportunities to enhance their language skills through play by talking and singing with other children. A child’s interactions with and repetition of his playmates help him master the semantics of language as he participates in spontaneous rhyming and word play. While having fun, he increases his play-related speech, his sentence length, and his vocabulary.

The child’s cognitive, or mental, abilities can also be enhanced by play. A child’s play often involves physical and mental trial and error, problem-solving tasks, and an ability to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information. Play requires the child to make choices and direct activities and often involves strategizing, or planning, to reach a goal. Through pleasurable play, children often become motivated and perseverant, qualities that frequently may later translate into the classroom.

While enjoying their play, children can acquire a wide range of interpersonal/social skills, ranging from communication to cooperation. When children argue about who stepped “out of bounds” and agree upon a “do over,” they are learning how to negotiate, compromise and work together. They are learning about teamwork when they huddle together and decide how they will position themselves for the next shot. The child gains an understanding about those around him and may become more empathetic and less egocentric. When playing with peers, children are developing a learning system of social rules, including ways to control themselves and tolerate their frustrations in a social setting.”

For more information, visit  http://www.ChildTrauma.org   or    http://Scholastic.com/bruceperrry

Best Practice for Infants and Toddlers

Posted in Best Practices on October 24th, 2009 by Pat Hillman – Be the first to comment

ITSG understands “Best Practice” for Infants and Toddlers.

This blog has been created to foster an informed discussion concerning the living, constantly evolving concept of “Best Practice” for Infants and Toddlers, in Early Care environments.

With 30 years each, in the field of Head Start, Early Head Start, Early  Care and Education, Pat Hillman and Linda Kimura know that they have a lot to contribute, and welcome you to participate in the discussions on the Infant Toddler Specialist Group Blog.