Play in Kindergarten?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Bridiecakes, May 5, 2008.

  1. Bridiecakes

    Bridiecakes Companion

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    May 5, 2008

    I will be moving from first grade to Kindergarten next year. I was wondering if some of you could tell me how much "play" stuff you use at the kindergarten level. Do you have lots of different sized blocks, dramatic play etc. I have taugh Preschool in the past and we had lots of that stuff at that level. Is that stuff still found at the K level? Should I be ordering a lot of it? Or is Kindergarten more acadmeic now? I was just wondering what other kindergarten programs currently look like. Thanks!:unsure:
     
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  3. MrH

    MrH Rookie

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    May 5, 2008

    My "play" stuff includes...

    Dramatic Play things... Kitchen set, stuffed animals, different clothings, plastic utensils, plastic foods, plastic flowers, etc...

    Blocks - I have large legos, small (regular sized) legos, big wooden blocks, medium soft blocks

    Computers with age appropriate games

    Painting Supplies

    Puppet Show theater

    "Moon Sand" Box

    Markers, Whiteboards, Erasers

    Felt Board

    A Handfull of random sized cars

    During our "play" time it's called "Active Learning". It's not a free for all play time. It's structured and evolves throughout the year.
     
  4. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    May 5, 2008

    I pretty much have the same "play" things as MrH.

    I have seen lots of teachers add literacy items into these play centers as well. You could make a class phone book to the kitchen center. Take a picture of each child, record their names and phone numbers and bind into a phone book. You could also add labels for different stores and restaurants and create a Yellow Pages section too. Kids love it! I've had kids come to me at stations and ask me what I want to order from a particular place. You can add mini notebooks and pencils for them to write orders too. Be sure to ask for to go menus when you go to restaurants. Once I asked the waiter at Olive Garden if I could have a dessert menu. When I told him it was for my class he looked at me like I was nuts but said, "sure, why not?!"

    For block center, add paper and let the kids create signs for stores in their "city". You can also take pictures/cut out pictures of cool looking buildings and let them try to recreate it.
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 5, 2008

    I have the same things too.

    I try (doesn't always happen) to have 45 minutes of play a day. Now that we are getting close to the end of the year it is more 20 to 30 minutes. Which totally stinks I just can't get everything in!
     
  6. kindernj123

    kindernj123 Companion

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    May 5, 2008

    Add puzzles and games to Mr H's list-I have all that and a writing center. Library includes puppets, read the room clipboards, pointers, books on tape, etc. We have free play in the centers every day for 30 minutes. They have structured literacy and math centers in the afternoons, sometimes.
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    May 5, 2008

    I think it really depends on the attitude of the school as well. At my school we are very academic, even in Kinder so my principal would not approve of the kids doing dramatic play, etc.

    I use a lot of hands-on materials for workstations so the kids think they are playing, but I know they are really learning something. Unfortunately, with all the expectations put on us, my kids don't really have any time to just play.
     
  8. MrH

    MrH Rookie

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    If I were you, I would fight for it! The kids NEED to learn how to share and play appropriately! They gain self-confidence, and how to problem solve when something isn't going right. They use their imaginations in writings, puppetry, paintings, etc... They also developmentally grow - painting and blocks help fine motor skills... The list goes on and on! It's not just a play time and I think a lot of administrators don't know that.
     
  9. KinGeorgia

    KinGeorgia Rookie

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    May 6, 2008

    I agree with both KinderCowgirl and MrH. At my current school in Georgia, we have 30 minutes of center time daily. At the beginning of the year it is mostly play...blocks, playdough, home living, reading, listening, discovery, etc. I start incorporating more literacy centers in January and they are almost all literacy centers now.
    Next year, I am moving to Alabama and have been told there needs to be a purpose behind all 'play activities'...so I am doing all literacy centers from the beginning! :)
    I think it depends on the area too! If a lot of the kids have attended Pre K they are ready for the academics and have had the gross motor skills in Pre K!
     
  10. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    May 7, 2008

    There is an academic purpose behind every developmental center. In homeliving/housekeeping children learn to cooperate and problem solve. Dramatic play involves these skills as well. Blocks and puzzles build higher order thinking skills that assist in mathematical thinking. We really do need to fight for developmenatally appropriate activities in K. It should not be the new 1st grade!
     

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