11 Apr 2020

Guidelines from Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education help children ‘Play to Learn’ at home

A child’s first five years are crucial for lifelong health, physical, cognitive and social emotional development. As a child’s first teacher, parents play a critical role in early childhood education (ECE), and are spending more time with their children while they work from home. The only tertiary institute focused on ECE in Asia, Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education (YCCECE) offers learnings from their team of professionals that share insights on nurturing a new generation of passionate and inspired ECE professionals. 

Today, YCCECE professionals are sharing guidelines, tips and videos for parents to continue fostering their children’s learning and development at home through ‘Play to Learn’. YCCECE launched its most innovative platform, the Pamela Peck Discovery Space – an interactive play space specifically designed for children aged 0 to 8 years old – based on this notion. 

Play can happen anywhere, but attitude and style when working with young children are what parents should be paying attention to. YCCECE experts have highlighted five tips for parents to practise how to be an ECE educator at home and lead the growth of their children:

  • Story time: Reading is the best way for young children to learn a language. It essentially gives them the ability to communicate and express their feelings and emotions, which in turn helps their language and cognitive development. However, parents should note that story time should never be a forced behavioural management time but rather natural as it affects the child’s interest level. 
  • Playing: Play should be fun and a satisfying experience for children. Children should have the ownership of it and parents can be their co-players, bringing in new vocabularies and concepts to children through playing. Playing can help build relationships, trust, and an atmosphere of wellbeing and mental health for parents and children.
  • Holistic Daily Life: Involve children in daily chores such as cooking, laundry and grocery shopping. Their ownership of the activity allows them to build an identity as part of the family. Participation and exploration of small tasks can stimulate children’s physical and cognitive development. 
  • Talking: The effect of conversation in a child’s learning experience should not be undervalued. A large portion of moral, cultural and identity development comes from conversation between parents and children. Interactive sharing of views, perspectives and knowledge is important for parents when talking with their children, which strongly stimulates children’s brain development.
  • Listening: Parents should learn to listen to their children intuitively, and observe through both verbal and body languages. This can help parents to get to know their children better, understanding their characteristics and interests.

YCCECE has created a series of short videos, demonstrated by the Centre Teachers on some simple activities such as making space rocket, fruit puppets and toasties, for parents to mimic. This will give families an idea on how they can interact with their children at home, and further elaborates how children can learn through these activities. These videos are now available on YCCECE’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

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