Play fosters learning

2020-02-19 06:03
At a workshop for teachers and parents about the importance of play are from the left Ria de Villiers (Jika), Anna Paledi (Moipone Primary School), Carlen Yazbek (grandparent) and Debbie de Jong (guest speaker) with the blocks that are used in the Six Bricks concept. Photo: Lientjie Mentz

At a workshop for teachers and parents about the importance of play are from the left Ria de Villiers (Jika), Anna Paledi (Moipone Primary School), Carlen Yazbek (grandparent) and Debbie de Jong (guest speaker) with the blocks that are used in the Six Bricks concept. Photo: Lientjie Mentz

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According to scientists it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain, but when this learning is done with play, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions.

This according to Dr Karyn Purvis on how important play is in the child’s daily learning process.

Jika Communications and Training presented a workshop for teachers and parents about the importance of play and the role it plays in learning on Wednesday (12/02) at the Brebner Primary School.

The speaker was Debbie de Jong, a trained high school teacher and remedial therapist who works extensively in the early childhood development sector.

At the workshop she demonstrated some of the Six Bricks activities, which are short, simple excercises or games to wake up the brain and get the child moving, thinking and remembering.

The Six Bricks concept was designed to excite and motivate young children in the classroom.

“One of the huge problems with learners today, is that they live in a very fast-paced world and take in lots of information,” says De Jong.

“When they get to the classroom and the teachers keep repeating the same concept, they get tired quickly and their toughts wander.”

De Jong says in order to grasp concepts, children must be given time to manipulate concrete tools and opportunities to use their whole body to explore and aid their development of ideas, curiosity and imagination.

Ria de Villiers of Jika, which consults with the Department of Education, says it is very important that learners get to solve real life problems.

“One of the test projects we undertook at Brebner was to teach learners about budgeting and buying a car,” says De Villiers.

“We took them to a dealership to learn about prices and the specs of the cars, gave them salary slips, and got someone to talk about insurance and bank loans. This was a pracitical way to learn real things that they one day have to do.”

De Jong says one of the big problems is that there is too much emphasis on academic achievement and too little emphasis on holistic development.

“Our children struggle to solve problems. They should learn skills in problem-solving, and creativity to cope with the new technological era we are entering.”

Our children struggle to solve problems. They should learn skills in problem solving and creativity to cope with the new technological era we are entering.

– Debbie de Jong

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