Childhood Games and Academic Success, Part Two

in Early Childhood in the News

playful early learner and momIn Part One of Childhood Games and Academic Success, we reported on the growth of a child’s focus, attention, and working memory to remember rules as a result of playing Simon Says-like games.

Play is the how of learning.

“We tend to equate learning with the content of learning, with what information children have, rather than the how of learning,” says Ellen Galinsky, a child-development researcher. “But focusing on the how of learning, on executive functions, gives you the skills to learn new information, which is why they tend to be so predictive of long-term success.”

For parents of little ones:

  • Play baby games such as Peek-A-Boo and sing songs in everyday play.
  • Remember the importance of face-time as you interact with your little one.
  • Use expression in your voice and face as you emphasize the rhythm and words that rhyme.

For parents of preschoolers:

  • Use game play at home and in the car.
  • Play Simon Says; Red Light, Green Light; and Hide-and-Go-Seek.
  • Sing songs in everyday play, such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” The words have a steady beat. With your voice, emphasize the words that rhyme.
  • Clap and tap to the beat of nursery rhymes. Children never tire of Mother Goose.

There is no substitute for a parent’s attention and time.

This post inspired by “Simon Says Don’t Use Flashcards,” New York Times

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