The pre-school or nursery curriculum is not about teaching ABCs, numbers, language basics and engaging kids throughout the day. It is about making those little individuals more independent. That is the reason many nursery schools in Singapore add a compulsory playing session into the daily timetable of the curriculum. The teachers, staff and the management of the early education strongly believe that a regular session of children being left to their own devices while playing will have so many benefits that lead to the wholesome development of a child. Check those benefits.
The top benefits –
Concentration – A child’s cognitive skills are developed when the child is allowed to play all by himself or herself. When any adult sees the kids playing around with those little or big sensory materials available around them, they think they are just doing it playfully. No! They have a strong reason for what they are doing and why they are doing it. Also, if observed, they never get bored of doing it for hours. Like making some den out of blanket or carpet or mat, making some models out of the bricks etc.
Social skills – Playing independently is made compulsory twice a week by most of the schools. This is to develop those social skills that these toddlers need to learn. Of course the teachers, staff and other assistants do have their eye on what they are doing, just to alert them in case of odd behavior or to avoid chances of hurting themselves. But, when allowed to play like this, children tend to learn how to do things on their own, responsibility and respecting others privacy too.
Activities of risk – When a teacher leads the games, children tend to get a scope of working with low risk prone activities, which otherwise the kids will not be able to do so. For example the teacher can arrange an activity or play of cooking with minimum cookery supplies like a plastic knife, cheese spreader, bowls etc. They can make a sandwich for themselves under the guidance of a teacher, if otherwise, who knows what they could do with those materials!
New concepts – Children cannot be led free to an outing spot like a zoo or park or garden. It is to these activities there is an absolute necessity of teacher. For example, when going to a zoo, they learn new variety of animals, they tend to see live of those animals and birds that they have already read about. As there is a teacher and staff behind them, they can take care that kids don’t provoke or tease the animals for fun, which might lead to them getting injured.
Vocabulary – Teacher-led games enhance the vocabulary of a child. For example if a child is making a salad with different varieties of fruits, they learn their names, spellings and add that to their vocabulary book. As the teacher talks more and involves the kids in these activities, children tend to frame small sentences and express themselves in a better way.