You don’t have to look too far to find the latest research on children and the necessity of play. More and more studies are showing that it is play, and not early reading, early math, or memorizing facts, that the young child needs for healthy and natural development. We see more and more that this play is crucial, not just for the immediacy of the moment in childhood, or the joy that it brings, but for the feeding of the brain in ways that translate into healthy, well-adjusted adults.
Two articles that came out within months of each other proved to have significant overlap. One was about having too many toys. With multiple toys to explore, the child stays in exploration mode and rarely makes it to the creative thinking and imaginative play side of the toys. So the fewer, and simpler, the toys, the better. In the other research article, the author shows us that play, including recess (which is often missing in our U.S. schools and pre-schools) boosts mental and physical health, develops the executive function of the brain, and leads to improvements in academic performance, concentration, and behavior. These are well-written articles, very much worth the read:
And know that here at CYM, we are aware of the necessity of play, including exploration and creative thinking. In our early childhood music classes, the emphasis is on getting the child started and then stepping back, and allowing the child to discover and to create on their own. We may set the stage for an activity, but it is the children who take it to the next level, using their creative thinking and storytelling abilities to improvise! Our trained teachers know even when handing out instruments such as our wooden rhythm sticks that we will allow the child time to explore, and to come up with ways to play and use the sticks, and it isn’t until that urge for creative play is satisfied, or at least begins to wane, that the teacher then directs the activity, bringing the sticks to their intended use for the musical concept in the lesson. Which, by the way, the children are ready for, because they had that opportunity to play and try their own ideas, first!
Check out our new line-up of early childhood music classes today.