Bringing Games Into Early Childhood Classrooms
The presentation will provide an overview about the importance of bringing both hands-on/physical and digital games into the classroom and curriculum to support the youngest learners. Ginsburh (2007) shares “play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development” (para. 4). Games can be utilized for academic and social-emotional growth in the early childhood classroom. When thinking about classic children’s games, Mead (n.d.) shares that they are “much more than just fun for children. They’re actually an essential part of the learning process, helping kids bond with their friends, burn off excess energy and teaching kids skills that will help them later in life” (para. 2). However, games are also a resource that can be shared with families to encourage out-of-school learning. Zander, M. (2019) states how board games can support family time due to the fact that “the lack of technology required to play board games makes them special. They are a simple way to get quality, screen-free time with the kids” (para. 15).
Participants will leave the presentation with a better understanding of how to naturally embed games into the early childhood setting and curriculum as well as a collection of games, both digital and hands-on/physical for early childhood students to play at school or at home. Benefits of hands/physical and digital games will be shared during the presentations. One benefit of hands-on games that will be expanded on during the presentation focuses on how “simple games help young players identify colors, count spaces, and develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity in moving cards and pieces around the board. Plus, learning to wait your turn and follow the rules are important lessons” (Zander, 2019, para. 3). Benefits of digital games such as increased memory and quicker strategic thinking, problem solving, and skill building will also be addressed. “Games often revolve around the utilization of memorization. This not only relates to games whereby children have to remember aspects in order to solve the game, memorize critical sequences, or track narrative elements” (TeacherThoughtStaff, n.d., para. 3).
- Ginsburg, K. (2007). The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182
- Mead, S. (n.d.). 9 classic preschool games that secretly teach life skills. Whitby School. https://www.whitbyschool.org/passionforlearning/9-classic-preschool-games-that-secretly-teach-life-skills
- TeachThought. (n.d.). 6 basics benefits of game-based learning. https://www.teachthought.com/technology/6-basic-benefits-of-game-based-learning/
- Zander, M. (2019). The surprising benefits your kids get from playing board games. Scholastic. https://www.scholastic.com/parents/kids-activities-and-printables/activities-for-kids/arts-and-craft-ideas/benefits-board-games.html