At Swiss Waldkindergartens, or forest kindergartens, children spend all of their school days playing outdoors, no matter the weather. Instead of math or literacy requirements, they focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play.
Fed up with the restrictions at his conventional school, 10-year-old Scott Gray convinced his parents to transfer him to one where children control their own education. His father, Peter Gray, who's a developmental psychologist, watched his son thrive and began seeking to understand how children learned in such a setting, and what lessons could be drawn from it.
Aside from keeping obesity at bay and providing a way to blow off steam, daily physical exercise has benefits that go beyond getting out the wiggles. But despite this, and many other benefits, finding time for recess has been a big hurdle for many schools.
Flickr:Woodleywonderworks By Eleanor Yang Su It’s one of the biggest debates going on among early childhood development experts: Is it more important for kindergartners to focus on academics and learn their ABC’s and numbers? Or spend more time on social and emotional issues, like how to play nice and pay attention? Recent research by a UC … Continue reading Balancing Math Skills and Play in Kindergarten →