The Young Child Expo and Conference was a success last week. My colleague, Deb Vilas and I presented on a very hot topic right now, Play in Early Education: The Antidote to Technology Overload. We broke down the negative effects of too much screen time and what it does to kids; problems with attention, sleep, self-regulation, impulse control and poor social skills.
We also discussed the academic pressure that both the teachers and children are feeling. The curriculum is incredibly tense and doesn’t allow kids to learn in a healthy environment. Sitting at a desk, with a pencil in hand and memorizing 120 site words isn’t the most optimal learning space for a kindergartener. School doesn’t become exciting anymore, it becomes work and we are turning them off at a very early age. Kids begin to act out and misbehave both in the classroom and at home.
So our antidote is to bring child centered techniques into the classroom setting. Play is the most natural way for children to learn and express themselves. By being with kids, allowing them to lead, explore, and problem solve with full acceptance of who they are and where they are at the moment, we are empowering them. Kids will begin to strengthen their skills in self-regulation, impulse control, communication, self-confidence, mastery over experiences in their life and feel safe to express their emotions and thoughts. They are building their self-identity.
We broke it down into a four components to help the attendees absorb the information and see themselves using it with their kids.
We even had some fun role-playing and provided the audience with an opportunity to try it out. We made it playful by providing the audience with noise makers shaped as lips and they were told to whistle every time we made a mistake. It was a captivating presentation that brought up a lot of great discussion from the audience.
We hope to bring this presentation to other conferences to help caregivers, educators and professionals working with kids.
If you would like to learn more about this topic, please leave a comment below or email me at Childlifemommy@gmail.com