September 2018 Newsletter
Play is defined as “to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose”. Working with Early Childhood programs over the years, the most successful programs are those that create an environment where children can learn through play, while balancing building a foundation for academic readiness.
At Bentonville Christian Academy, we intentionally practice and encourage learning through play. At the PreK and K level, this is explored through center time and outdoor experiences. In elementary, these opportunities are found during recess time each day. It is quite impressive to look at the number of items that a child can learn through play. Children develop cognitive skills through play like solving math problems when trying to build a structure for a grasshopper or making change in a pretend grocery store ( both things that I’ve observed on the playground just this year!). Literacy skills are improved as well through things like writing a menu in a pretend restaurant or acting out a scene from a Bible story. Children also strengthen their physical coordination and abilities while jumping rope, skipping, and balancing blocks. Recess and playground time provide organic leadership opportunities where children can take the lead in their own play, along with improving their social skills as they invite friends to play, navigate challenges, and solve problems. When children have time to play, their stress and anxiety levels decrease which helps them grow emotionally.
At Bentonville Christian Academy, we don’t view playtime and learning time as always separate activities. We find where they
intertwine and capitalize on how play can engage students in learning. I encourage you to listen closely the next time your children are playing at home, or better yet….join in the fun and learning!