“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” Friedrich Froebel
Over 175 years ago, Froebel asserted that children learn best through play and hands –on exploration in a nurturing and carefully planned environment. He believed that a child naturally loves discovery in nature, music, and movement and that rhymes and stories should be the basis of letter and number skills. He stressed that children, like plants in nature, grow at their own pace and must be nurtured by family and society. Many early learning programs and kindergartens today have lost sight of what Froebel intended. What is found now are teachers working out of a government determined script driven by testing and funding. When looking for quality early learning centers and kindergartens, look for those who are reinvesting in loving and nurturing environments where children can again learn through play and hands-on exploration and discovery.