Today I’m talking about how to get parents on board with play in your classrooms, right from the start. Just like the children, each parent in your classroom comes with a different set of life experiences and perspectives. For some, the concept that their child’s best learning will be through play is a new revelation. Some may be expecting more of a sit down and do worksheets environment. Others may be supportive of play, but still not exactly sure why it’s best for their children.
One of the items I recently shared at a conference was the idea of having a Parent Night or a Parent Playdate to get everyone on the same page. I’ve had some follow up questions since then, so today, I’m going to walk you through some ideas for structuring that event to make it more successful.
Notes from the Show:
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Here’s your basic outline:
*How will you set up your room?
*How can you accentuate the areas (pictures, Why We Play/other signs, etc.)?
*What refreshments might you want to offer?
*Is there a small, play-based gift you can have them take home to their child at the end? (I vote for bubbles!)
*Help people feel connect and feel comfortable.
Share Childhood Play Memories-
*Let it build momentum. Watch for their eyes and faces lighting up!
This is Why We Play –
*Eyes Light Up = Brains Light Up!
*Play is the most effective and efficient way to promote learning, development, and brain growth in the early years.
*Play also supports social skill development and promotes mental health. This is key for long-term outcomes.
Invitation to Play-
*Support and scaffold as they play.
*Discuss their observations/experience. Let them share what they learned.
*May want to highlight a few areas of the room and discuss what it is, how they played there, and what children gain from the activity.
*Thank them for coming and consider sharing a small gift for them to bring play home.
(*Have refreshments again. There’s no such thing as too many refreshments is there?)
Why We Play
Share the importance of play with the Why We Play letters! Learn more about Why We Play and sign up for the sample letter at the bottom to ensure you hear about the VIP discount by clicking here!