'Three main techniques that help children learn and grow to become well rounded individuals are Structured Play, Unstructured Play and Behavior Role Modeling. These fundamental techniques are used daily at Home Grown Kids Day Care. Below you will find these main techniques explained and how they are used effectively to help children achieve age appropriate milestones.
Structured Play is defined as a focused teaching area or theme led by adult in a controlled environment. Cognitive skills, listening skills and fine motor skills are the main area of focus when using this teaching technique.
During Structured play the following themes are covered an a cyclical basis, numbers, letters, animal sounds, colors, our country and special calendar days. The above mentioned themes are taught using songs, stories, games, crafts, themed work pages, (focusing on fine motor skills) computer games and visual aids. Repetition and fun is the key to success when teaching young childern cognitive skills.
Often know as "free play" unstructured play is described as allowing children to learn and grow through play in an environment that is carefully monitored and encouraged by an adult caregiver. Large motor skills, social skills and developing imagination are some of the main areas of development a child learns through unstructured play. It is often said that "A child's play is a child's work."
During unstructured play time children are encouraged to develop large and fine motor skills, social norms such as sharing, taking turns, playing within appropriate and acceptable boundaries and using our imagination are the main focus areas. These skills are developed using tools such as indoor and outdoor toys during free play and organized day trips.
This technique is very straight forward, ever heard the saying "Do as I do, not as I say" Children do and learn what they see, not what they are told." In other words, the way we act towards children and others sets the example and expectations of how our children will act and behave. At Home Grown Kids Daycare this simple technique is observed in all we do on a daily basis.
Every day in all areas of play I focus on modeling appropriate behavior for children. This is done through verbal directions, teaching, manners, positive reinforcement and setting an example through action.
"LEARNING THROUGH PLAY