We often use Circle Time or Large Group Time to present a lesson that we have planned. We feel more in control of the process and the outcome. These learning times are important and do serve a purpose in the Early Childhood learning landscape.
What if we also intentionally planned for learning throughout the day during free choice time? This often-overlooked time is a perfect opportunity to bring learning to a child when he/she is interested and engaged. We know through early childhood research that children learn best through concrete learning experiences. So, when you order that pizza in Dramatic Play, talk about how it has three sides. Give the shape a name…” it’s a triangle”. Help the child find other triangles in the room.
Bringing learning to children when they are actively engaged with materials helps to make that learning stronger. Research shows us when we comment and expand on what children are doing while they are engaged with materials, that the brain connections that are made are much stronger than the learning that takes place with flashcards and rote memorization.
Be intentional, have fun and order some pizza…you never know what your children will learn!
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