Play and work, can you do two things at once?

Phrases like "first pick up and then you can play" or "come, let's learn the letters you've already lost a lot of time playing", they are repeated many times in our homes and even in the classroom. However, all experts say that the child in these ages has to develop all their learning skills through the game.

For get children to learn or work while they play It is necessary to systematize the game, that is, to have clear objectives regarding what is being promoted through each of the games to determine what I want to teach and what game I should propose.

The most important and key activity in Early Childhood Education is play. All the experts say so. However, it is still necessary to be convinced that children learn more easily through play activities.

Begoña Sánchez-Laiseca, teacher and expert in Early Childhood Education says that, although much progress has been made in terms of the incorporation of the game as an activity of the methodology in Early Childhood Education, "there is still a lot of separation between work and play, and we must integrate it more ".

Sometimes, it is still thought that the game distracts the tasks of learning, when it is the opposite: it complements it. That is, there is still a misconception of the game: first "I finish" the task and then "play and have fun." The child of Early Childhood has to learn by playing. The right concept includes work and play as components that balance the action. For the child, the game is the means by which he relates and informs about his world. It's going to be like work for adults.

Motivation to volunteer effort

The main characteristic of the game and learn binomial is that the child's attention is directed to really know how things are done. Accompanied by imagination and ludic aspects, the child's anxiety to learn diminishes. Through the game, the level of voluntary effort also increases.

On the other hand, the adult-educator in proposing recreational activities, allows the children themselves to discover the strategies they must put in the game to "do them well", avoiding replacing what they must think and discover for themselves. In this way, your effort is given meaning.

The game assumes that the child learns by having fun and turns work into a rewarding activity. The game develops the child's abilities.

Systematize the children's game

To know what we want to achieve with playful activities in the learning of children of these ages, we must systematize the game, which meets a requirements and objectives.
For the systematic use of the game activities, it is necessary to determine in advance the characteristics of each game and its potential relationship with learning. Thus we find games that facilitate:

1. To look and see. The objective is the development of voluntary attention. To do this, we can place before them a series of objects with a certain spatial distribution on a shelf or table and without being seen, modify this placement to determine what has changed. Another game, with several children, is to get some of them out of the room or class to prepare a gesture among the rest of the group, for example "touching your nose" that everyone should do in front of the person who has to guess it.

2. To listen and hear: echolalia. They are the games in which the ending of words echoes. It is a "poetic game" about prosody-the sounds of words and that affects the learning of the phonetic segmentation of the same. We all know the "caracol-col-col" is about doing the same with any word: marzipan-bread-bread.

3. Develop oral language. With concrete phrases we help the child to develop his communication and expression, we teach him to speak correctly: Relatar-narrar: "there was once"; predict and anticipate: the ... goes to ...; project the action: let's ...; direct and guide: it is worth that ....; Reason: because ....; Imagine: I would like ... Stories are indispensable in these ages, they learn the historical sequences (the before and after), the morals etc ...

4. To think. Games of hiding in a box or bag before your sight two types of objects, for example pencils and rubbers, until they can logically express what it is that, without being seen, I will remove, if I take out one by one the objects that I placed inside and guess.

5. Search for words. We use a game in which they are asked, for example, "if they have had milk with colacao", in which you can not say yes or no, neither white nor black and have to discover new ways of responding.

Jaime Márquez
Advice:Begoña Sánchez-Laiseca, teacher and expert in Early Childhood Education

Video: How to Make Homework Less Work

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