Play is absolutely elemental to how children learn.

GWYC beach play

This is something that Dr. Alison Gopnik knows well. Author of The Philosophical BabyThe Scientist in the Crib and other influential books on cognitive development, Dr. Gopnik is a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Through the partnership between the Children’s Creativity Museum (CCM) in San Francisco and the Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab at UC Berkeley, I’ve become very familiar with her research and incorporate it into the early childhood education professional development workshops I facilitate each semester at CCM for our Education Interns. 

Dr. Gopnik’s research has important implications for educators & caregivers alike. Here are a few highlights from an interview on the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) website. Please help us share this information!

“The preschool years may be the most important time of learning we ever have.”

GWYC kids

“…parents who think they are helping their children by exposing them to flash cards with letters on them are doing less to help their children than parents who expose their children to pretend play, read to them, and talk with them.”

Family Photo Session

“Children learn by playing with everyday objects and by pretending. The old standbys of water, sand, mixing bowls, and cardboard boxes are still the most effective ways for babies and young children to learn about the physical world while the whole world of pretend—dolls and costumes and toy dishes—is the most effective way to learn about the social world.”

GWYC sandbox

“Ultimately, exploration and play during preschool turns us into adults who are flexible and sophisticated thinkers.”

GWYC play

To read the full interview, click here.

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