The Preschool Teacher’s Challenge: Combining Learning with Play – Alphabet Knowledge
By Terra Tarango
One of the biggest challenges preschool teachers face is trying to balance age-appropriate academic rigor with the need for kids to just be kids. Preschool should be a place where children begin their academic journey. Young minds are capable of grasping advanced concepts, and parents want you to challenge their children and set them up for success in Kindergarten and beyond. Yet preschool should also be a place where kids develop emotionally and socially. They should be free to explore the world in developmentally appropriate ways and to embrace their natural tendencies for fun and games.
Although these concepts can seem at odds, making us feel like we need to choose between learning and play, it doesn’t need to be that way. I’m always looking for a way to have my cake and eat it too (literally, I buy 2 cupcakes each week!). So, rather than separate the concepts of learning and play, I marry them together. When you make a game out of your phonics lesson or incorporate play while counting, you’re teaching something much more valuable than phonics or math. You’re teaching a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
This is the same approach used by my friends at InvestiGator Club too! I love how they expertly weave fun, playful activities into developmentally appropriate academic content.
Take alphabet knowledge, for example. I mean, if you want to start instilling a love of learning, why not start at the literal beginning: the word alphabet is derived from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet (alpha and beta). Here are a few alphabet games that will have your children working hard without even knowing it!
I invite you to try any of these alphabet knowledge activities with your children to seamlessly blend academic content with a healthy dose of fun!
Let us know how it goes!
If you liked this sneak peek and want more activities like this, then Contact us or call 773-935-8358 for a complete component list and to request samples.