Studies are great. , They tell us things we already knew, so we can move on with even greater confidence and purpose. Well, recent Oregon State child-development research results may seem obvious, but in an era when there are parents out there coaching their three-year-olds on French verb forms and trying for every future academic edge with extra math problem sets and flash cards after dinner “for fun,” the information gleaned by these researchers bears review.
It turns out, these researchers assert, that “Play is one of the most cognitively stimulating things a child can do.” Simple games like “Simon Says” and “Red Light Green Light” develop a child’s ability to focus on detail, remember rules, and increase self-control. To add to the challenge, and therefore the learning, try reversing the rules of one of the simple games. For example, if “Simon Says: Lift up your hands” , the correct response is to drop the hands to the floor; In “Red Light Green Light,” try changing the rules to “go” at red, “stop” at green. Mental flexibility is enhanced when children have to learn to go by the reversed rules.
“Research shows that children who develop focus and self-control early in life have better academic achievement in the long-term… . A study of 814 children between the ages of 3 and 6 shows that children who do well in Simon Says-like games do better in math and reading.”
Freud said it succinctly, “A child’s work is play.”
Sarah C. Reese
Executive Director, Informed Educational Solutions
- Teach Your Children Well (myiesolutions.wordpress.com)
- Well: Simon Says Don’t Use Flashcards (well.blogs.nytimes.com)
- In Early Childhood, The Ability To Listen, Pay Attention, And Complete Important Tasks Is Crucial For Success Later In Life (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Preschoolers Who Pay Attention More Likely To Get Degrees Later On (medicalnewstoday.com)