Yes, you read that correctly! Time and again we come across educators and parents who are struggling to reconcile their knowledge of the importance of time outdoors (and play!) and their desire for improved academic outcomes for children.
The real focus…should be not just on vocabulary and reading,but on talking and listening.
Erika Christakis, Author of The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need from Grown-ups
Pre-school teachers’ use of sophisticated vocabulary in informal classroom settings predicted their students’ reading comprehension and word knowledge in fourth grade.Erika Christakis, Author of The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need from Grown-ups
The richest forms of pretend play occur in gardens that provide natural features
and materials such as trees, grass, twigs and pebbles.
Frankin, M.B. (2008) Words in play: Children’s use of language in pretend. In E. Goodenough (Ed.), A place for play. A companion volume to the Michigan television film ‘‘Where do the children play?’’.
A fully functioning vestibular system supports all six of our eye muscles. It acts similarly to the tripod of a camera, keeping the eyes steady so a child can focus on objects. It also allows for smooth and accurate scanning to search for objects.Angela Hanscom, Author of Balanced and Barefoot
I’m sure you can see how vital this would be for reading (keeping eyes steady and smooth scanning). The Vestibular System also impacts attention, our visual sense and auditory sense.
- Hanging upside down
These are movements that can happen so naturally if we simply take the first steps to provide space and opportunity. This isn’t ‘just play’. This is childhood development and school readiness at its best – it’s free and it’s fun. But the cost is great for our children if we do not provide opportunities for this sort of play in our schools, early childhood centres and homes.