Maren Petersen-DeGroff, Children's Program coordinator at Parenting Now!, writes how a few hours a week in an intentionally prepared environment with age-based peers can help build the skills that children need to be successful.
Petersen-DeGroff shares that most experts agree upon is that preschoolers learn best when they get plenty of unstructured play time.
Petersen-DeGroff also points out the type of play that is best for toddlers and preschoolers. According to Petersen-DeGroff, "guided, open-ended play, with well-trained adults, shows children how to work toward a shared goal, become sensitive to the needs of others, and communicate their needs and ideas."
Petersen-DeGroff advises that toddlers aren't ready for direct teaching of literacy, math and other knowledge content, but play-based learning materials help children make meaningful connections and understandings of their world. She adds that memory is strengthened through repeated experiences. Read the Entire Article
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Chris Blackwood is the founder of Helping Neighbourhoods Implement Change, a social enterprise that offers transformational mentoring to help change the lives of at-risk youth within the Canadian society.