Crisis in the Kindergarten

Edward Miller and Joan Almon

Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School, by Edward Miller and Joan Almon. Alliance for Childhood: College Park, MD, 2009.

In their summary of the report, the authors begin by saying

“The importance of play to young children’s healthy development and learning has been documented beyond question by research. Yet play is rapidly disappearing from kindergarten and early education as a whole.”

Through a review of new studies on the topic, they build a case for increased play in children’s lives. The type of play recommended by the report is the kind of play OH cards encourage and stimulate:

“Building a bridge from oral language to written language is vital in kindergarten. But the bridge must be built on a strong foundation of oral language and imaginative thinking, which are developed through play.”

“When children are given a chance to initiate play and exploratory learning, they become highly skilled in the art of self-education and self-regulation. The role of the teacher in supporting such an approach is subtler and more profound than the didactic or scripted pedagogue. She is attuned to the children’s play themes and builds on them, introducing new content and play materials to stimulate their minds.”

You can read more in the authors’ eight-page summary of the report (download the summary PDF), or view the entire report (download the full report PDF).  To download PDF files, you need a program like Adobe Reader. It’s free. You can get it here.

Further resources on this topic can also be found on Alliance for Childhood’s Restoring Childhood Play web page. Though the Crisis in the Kindergarten report doesn’t mention OH Cards, we present it as context for OH Card use.