Play is a fundamental component of any early childhood setting, including Kindergarten.
"Play nourishes every aspect of children's development - it forms the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for sucess in school and in life. Play "paves the way for learning".
-Canadian Council on Learning (Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre), "Let the Children play: Nature's Answer to Early Learning", Lessons in Learning (Ottawa: CCL, 2006), p.2
It has long been acknowledged that there is a strong link between play and learning for young children, especially in the areas of problem solving, language acquisition, literacy, numeracy, and social, physical, and emotional skills. Young children actively explore their environment and the world around them through a process of learning-based play. When children are manipulating objects, acting out roles, or experimenting with various materials, they are engaged in learning through play. Both child-initiated free play and more structured play-based learning opportunities should be integral parts of the early learning classroom. Children are offered choices of learning activities that reflect their developmental stages. The learning activities are designed by the Kindergarten team to encourage the children to think creatively, to explore and investigate, to solve problems and engage in the inquiry process, and to share their learning with others.
Click below to check out Halton's great website - Kindergarten: Ready, Set, Go!
[ http://sha.hdsb.ca/FDK/Let%20the%20Children%20Play.pdf ]Let the Children Play
[ http://sha.hdsb.ca/FDK/Play%20-%20tool%20for%20learning.pdf ]Play and Cognitive Development
[ http://sha.hdsb.ca/FDK/play%20based%20classes%20and%20critical%20thinking.pdf ]Play and Critical Thinking
[ http://sha.hdsb.ca/FDK/self%20regulation.pdf ]Self-Regulation
[ http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/ ]Ministry FDK Site