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ERIC Number: EJ779300
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0164-8527
Preschool Academics: Learning What Comes Naturally
Elkind, David
Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine Since 1978, n178 p6-8 Nov-Dec 2007
In this article, the author discusses the importance of early childhood play. Play is simply shorthand for everyone's capacity for curiosity, imagination, and fantasy--everyone's creative dispositions. What makes play unique is that it enables everyone to create new learning experiences. To illustrate, an infant who drops a rattle from the crib, is learning about gravity. He or she is also creating a game with the parent who is retrieving the rattle. In addition, the infant learns that different objects make different sounds when they are dropped. Certainly children can learn these lessons from watching an adult perform the same actions, but it is much more powerful when the infant creates these experiences through his or her own actions. Learning by doing is always much more effective than learning by watching. Through playful activities, young children acquire the prerequisite concepts for the attainment of the tool skills of reading and math. However well intended, when everyone substitutes instruction for spontaneous play in early childhood, they hinder rather than help the attainment of these concepts. Accordingly, play in early childhood is neither a waste of time nor a luxury. Rather, play is a fundamental mode of learning that ensures the best preparation for benefiting from later academic instruction.
Exchange Press, Inc. P.O. Box 3249, Redmond, WA 98073-3249. Tel: 800-221-2864; Fax: 425-867-5217; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A