Helping children learn about their world at a young age requires providing opportunities to simply engage in “play”. Child care centers everywhere engage in this practice world-wide and we are happy to share a glimpse of how we practice this at Prime Time Early Learning Center.
As a learning center for children we really enjoy helping children learn about themselves and their world. Dramatic play experiences are some of the first ways children learn about their likes and dislikes, their interests, and their abilities. Breaking down activities that children see daily and letting them just try and “do it themselves” is an important step to independence. They can experiment with role playing and see what it feels like to give a bath, not to just to be bathed themselves.
Working to make sense out of what they’ve observed is of great important to a young child. Just watch children playing with dolls to see this. Dolls often become versions of the child himself and are a safe way for children to express new ideas and feelings.
These photographs were taken in one of our classrooms, at our Prime Time school in East Rutherford, but these opportunities can occur anywhere—the kitchen sink at home, with home kitchen tools like soft rubber spoons and unbreakable bowls, supplying a plastic bin and a sponge. Anywhere young children can “practice” what they see helps them not only have fun but sets the stage for higher level thinking.