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Is Play Very Important For My Child

Play, indeed, is vital to ensure normal growth and development of a child. Research shows that when a child is confined in an environment where he is deprived of stimulating activities, his brain suffers. Children, who are not given ample time to play or are rarely touched, are said to develop brains that are 10% to 30% smaller than normal for their age. Rich experiences produce rich brains.

Pre-school programs designed to boost the brain power of youngsters greatly help parents in their desire to raise well-rounded children. That is why the CFC School of the Morning Star (SMS) offers a variety of programs to suit each child's needs. Each program provides the child equal exposure to work and play. Integrated in each of the programs (Infant and Toddler Development Program, Pre-School Program, Child Minding Service, and the Center for the Hearing Impaired's Learning and Development) is a schedule which strikes a balance between school work and vast opportunities to share and interact with other children.

The time for FREE PLAY allows the child to socialize with his classmates and show independence. This helps the child express himself without a fixed way of doing things. He is also given time to play and manipulate the different toys and to go to the different work areas to learn concepts. This time also serves to bridge home and school. OUTDOOR PLAY, on the other hand, invigorates the child's large muscles and gross motor skills. He discovers how to control his muscles and learns how to coordinate them. As the child plays actively with his classmates, he learns and develops sportsmanship and cooperation.

So how important is play?

Play is an opportunity for children to practice new cognitive, socio-emotional and physical skills. As they learn these skills, they also learn to use them in countless situations. For instance, when a baby learns to turn the pages of a book, he begins to sense a sequence to the story. Hence, when children learn about books in a playful manner, reading becomes a lifelong source of enjoyment.

Play opens doors for children to act on objects and experience events. Time spent in field trips, time spent in building with blocks and time spent with children and adults in friendships provide them with an understanding of the world!

Play is an active form of learning that unites the mind, body and spirit. Have you noticed how absorbed children are when they paint at an easel, work on a puzzle, or gaze into another's eyes? That is why until the child is about 9 years old, learning occurs best when the whole self is involved.

Play is where a child's first attempts to read and write frequently occur. It may seem that children are just playing with sand, but the lines they create using their shovel are initial steps in their scribbling stage.

Play makes children realize how new experiences are related to previous learning. A bulk of what we learn cannot be taught directly, but must be put together in our own way through experiences. Whenever you exclaim “Ah-ha!” when something finally clicks, that is what it is all about.

Play is a means to develop art appreciation. When children make clay pots, they become potters. As they play with words, they develop a sense for the rhythm and sound of poetry and prose.

Play is an opportunity for children to learn about learning - whether through curiosity, invention or staying with the task at hand. We all know that when they are interested, children's attention spans are longer. They are spellbound when they see a rainbow; they keep trying until the puzzle is solved; they feel proud when they are able to count objects; they express curiosity as they feel Santa's fluffy beard. Learning becomes interesting when it is experienced through play because it feels so satisfying.

Play definitely reduces the tension often felt with having to achieve to learn. Adults seldom interfere in play, thus making the children relax. Though play is challenging, it does not punish for mistakes committed.

Playing with peers develops in children the ability to see from another's point of view. They also learn cooperating, helping, and sharing to solve problems. They learn how to become leaders and followers - traits needed to relate well with others. All these experiences help children understand their social world and themselves.

Play, most importantly, is a venue for teaching virtues. Virtues such as order, sincerity, generosity, industry, charity, refinement, obedience, humility, fairness and kindness are learned as the children interact and enjoy each other's company.

Pre-schools and play schools providing vast opportunities for children to learn and play have certainly sprouted almost everywhere as a response to the need of today's ever busy parents, yet we could not discount the fact that hands-on parenting is what really matters. Nothing and no one could ever replace a mother's cuddle for her baby, a father's talk with his toddler, and when parents and other loving adults provide infants with stimulating experiences. As a study revealed, “There is a time scale for brain development, and the most important year is the first. By the age of three, a child who is neglected or abused bears marks that, if not indelible, are exceedingly difficult to erase.”

Generosity

enerosity is acting unselfishly and cheerfully for the good of another. How can we become truly generous individuals?

1. Generosity means appreciating the things we have. Avoid buying things on a whim and end up throwing them on the shelf without using them. Take good care of your possessions and those that you borrow. Teach your child to care for toys, the classroom, tables and chairs, music instruments and paint brushes.

2. Are you generous with your time? Give your assistance when someone asks for your help. Spare some time to visit your sick relatives and friends, and even unknown patients in charity wards of hospitals. Give food and clothing to those in need. When giving away these items, do not only share those you plan to throw away, but give away things you may still need.

Be generous in spending time at home through activities that promote family interaction - try a T.V.-free day or week.

3. Think more of someone else's needs than your own. Realize that a genuine concern for others, even those whom you do not know, will ultimately lead to a love for all mankind and help establish peace in our world. When buying toys or candies, give the children the opportunity to share by not buying for each child but for everyone. Let them be willing to take on a job or task left by another person who may be sick or away, such as when helpers go on a day-off, or if Mom is sick, etc. Stimulate in the children the desire to be capable and to excel, showing them that only in making their work useful can it be an instrument of rendering good service to others.

Since children are unable to recognize the value of what they have or what others need, the spirit of generosity is seldom highly developed in young children. It is either they become overly-possessive of their belongings or very detached and give everything at random without thinking of what others actually need.

We need to have motives (to see a positive reaction in the other person) if we are to make the effort necessary to be generous. Our will must be guided by our reason.

Never hesitate to smile or express your gratitude for any efforts made by your children. This will encourage them to behave similarly towards others.

Create situations which allow the children to do good deeds (even with far from perfect motives) which allows them to acquire the habit of giving, lending, forgiving, etc. Later on, they will learn to be generous for better motives.

Explain to them somebody's genuine need of their help. This will encourage them to develop the habit of acting for the benefit of others.

With fortitude and unconditional self-giving, we will be able to counteract the selfishness brought about by the consumer society and eventually form responsible and generous children of God.

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