Too much play?

Apple Tree School is one of a few preschools in Sugar Land, Texas that provides a play based developmental program for young children. Each program provides age appropriate preschool play centers to foster learning and discovery.

Parents often want to know why play is so important and wonder if their child needs to be in a more structured, academic setting. Over the years there have been several studies that followed the development and measured the success of children coming from different types of early childhood programs. These studies have compared academic and social skills as well as behavior as the children grew, sometimes tracking development until young adulthood.

Recently the blog School Zone in the Houston Chronicle discussed this issue under the title “Kindergarten boot camp?” The blog referred to an article authored by Edward Miller and Joan Almon with the Alliance for Childhood titled “Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School.”

Please review these articles and use the additional resources listed below to understand the importance of play in early childhood education.

More Resources...

Alliance for Childhood
Additional articles and resources at Community Play Things
Better Kid Care: Play is the Business of Kids (nncc.org)
Play = Learning : Benefits of Play
Learning Through Play, David Elkind, PHD

The Play Debate...

The Academics-Versus-Play Debate by Rae Pica

Preschool Controversy – Academics or Play? No Child Left Behind Pressuring Schools Beyond Reason by Barbara Pytel

(excerpt from Barbara Pytel's article above)
Research shows that there is a difference in adults that attended a play format preschool.
  • By age 23 people who attended play-based preschools were eight times less likely to need treatment for emotional disturbances
  • Graduates of play-based preschools were three times less likely to be arrested for committing a felony
  • Fantasy play, in which students plan the roles they’re going to fill, have a measurable effect on children’s ability to control their impulses. That skill is more closely correlated to academic success in kindergarten than intelligence is