Celebrate Playful, Healthy Learning with Five Helpful Tips

The Goddard School

The Goddard School located in San Antonio believes that the basis for healthy learning is providing all children with active, playful lifestyles enriched with good nutrition. From Monday, September 19th through Saturday, September 24th, 2011, the educational preschool will sponsor The Goddard School Block Party event in an effort to spread the word to families in their community. Children and their families will engage in a variety of exciting fitness, nutrition and playful learning activities based on the core curriculum and enrichment programs that are an integral part of the FLEX™ Learning Program offered at The Goddard School.
For the second year in a row, Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School, is the exclusive preschool sponsor of Play for Tomorrow's Ultimate Block Party: The Arts and Sciences of Play, a powerful global movement designed to recognize and celebrate the power of play for learning. In addition to The Goddard School Block Party event taking place in our Schools, GSI will participate in theUltimate Block Party (UBP) on Sunday, October 2nd, at Rash Field in Baltimore's Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, MD. The UBP will feature an amazing day of play for families and children, designed to bring playful learning back to the forefront. At the event, GSI and the Baltimore-area Goddard Schools will host the Let's Play Café. Children will enjoy manipulating play dough, shopping at a pretend farmer's market and participating in a series of engaging pretend restaurant activities while learning about nutrition, counting, sorting and other important lessons through play.

Simon Says: An Exercise for Academic Excellence

A recent study published in the Psychological Assessment journal found that preschool children who regularly participate in "Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders" tasks like Simon Says may do better academically. According to Megan McClelland, an associate professor of human development and family science at Oregon State University, games like Simon Says can help children improve their self-regulation skills through listening carefully and following directions. Click here to read more about this very important study.

The Goddard School believes in the importance of self-regulating games and the power of learning through play. Join participating Goddard Schools across the nation in a record-breaking game of Simon Says! On Friday, September 23rd, children, parents, faculty and guests at Goddard Schools nationwide will participate in the Guinness World Recordstm"Largest Game of Simon Says (Multiple Venues)." This unique synchronized event, which illustrates the power of play for learning in an exciting and innovative way, will take place at 1:00 PM EDT and 10:00 AM PDT. Each Simon Says game will culminate in the singing of

The Goddard School Play Along Song Parenting with Pruett: Play and Learning, by Kyle D. Pruett, M.D., advisor to The Goddard School®

For most parents, children's play is just that and no more–diversion or entertainment. But to think that play matters only in so far as it brings pleasure is to miss the forest through the trees. Play is ultimately about learning, and all play is educational play.
The reason that children love to play is precisely because it does mean something. They come to it very naturally from the beginning months of their life. In fact, a vast amount of a child's total learning comes through play, both alone, and with you. What are some of the things children learn through play?

  • Children learn what is soft and hard, cold and warm, scratchy or smooth, as they touch and manipulate everything within reach.
  • Children learn what is quiet and loud, pleasing and raucous, as they scream and coo, or rub and smash.
  • Children learn what works and doesn't work, as they pull and push, fit, stack, and destroy.

One of the most important things they learn through all this tireless trial and error is how to connect events, feelings, thoughts and learning together into experience and to file it away in their brains under certain symbols. This all starts to happen well before they have command of spoken language. Simply stated, through play, children learn to symbolize their experience.
The enrichment of learning by play, and vice versa, also holds for the quality of the child's relationships. Research tells us that children who are securely attached to their caregivers are better players and hence, by our reasoning, better learners. Children who have received consistent high-quality care, both emotionally and physically, who are talked to and listened to, and who have observed those around them involved in respectful interpersonal relationships carry their security–their self-confidence and feelings of self-worth–into play with others.

To gear up for the big celebrations, Julie Patel, owner of The Goddard School located in San Antonio, offers five tips for parents to help their children develop healthy learning habits:

  1. Encourage play. Playing alone and with others not only builds brain development, it also helps children develop social skills and a sense of ethics. The most effective play is free of evaluation and correction (after all, throwing a ball shouldn’t be “right” or “wrong”), while promoting autonomy.
  2. Play together. In addition to their ABCs and 123s, preschool children are learning and developing life skills that will shape who they grow into as adults.  One of these building blocks is learning to play well with others and accepting one another’s differences.
  3. Get adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Your child will do their best if they get to sleep early and eat a healthy breakfast each day before school. A daily diet of junk food is not compatible with learning. It can cause listlessness and hyperactivity, which can impair a child’s ability to learn. Skipping breakfast, especially, is a detriment to a child’s education.
  4. Continue year-long education. Routine provides structure, which is often lacking during the summer months when children all too quickly become detached from the lessons they learned throughout the school year.  Maintaining a schedule throughout the summer supports an environment that is less of a contrast to the classroom and provides a healthy balance between building skills, play and rest.
  5. Turn off the screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to avoid television and other electronic media for children two years of age and younger. Time spent in front of a computer, TV, video game or other similar devices can interfere with schoolwork, physical activity, curious exploration, social interaction and play.

“Play is the natural way to learn. It helps children learn to solve problems, promotes flexibility and motivation, teaches regulation of emotions and builds resilience and confidence,” said Sue Adair, director of education at GSI. “It is also essential to the development of the child’s brain, forming the basis of healthy cognitive function and mastery of the child’s physical world.”
To learn more about The Goddard School Block Party and The Goddard School located in San Antonio, parents are encouraged to drop in for a tour or call Julie Patel directly to arrange a personal appointment at 210-494-2779 or visit online atwww.goddardschool.com/blockparty.
About Goddard Systems, Inc. www.goddardschool.com

Recently named No. 1 Childcare Franchise in the United States by Entrepreneur magazine, for the tenth consecutive year (January 2011) and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales), by Franchise Times, for the fourth consecutive year (October 2010); Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) is expanding The Goddard School® network throughout the United States. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, GSI currently licenses 370+ franchised schools with more than 45,000 students in 34 states. With a successful system in place and dedicated franchisees, GSI is the acknowledged leader in franchised childcare and a premier childcare provider in the United States. To learn more about The Goddard School, click here.
About Play for Tomorrow www.UltimateBlockParty.com

In 2009, a small group of educators, business leaders, authors and researchers formed Play for Tomorrow to champion the importance of play in the lives of children.  Conceived as a multi-tiered social movement, the groundbreaking initiative aims to ensure that all children are provided with the competitive skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century global economy as well as build a public dialog to underscore the importance of play in fostering lifelong achievement and social, emotional and physical well being.  Play for Tomorrow is committed to working towards affecting policy and education delivery and overcoming the disconnect between what we know and about learning and how we are teaching.  The organization's mission is to change attitudes, beliefs and practices about playful learning among families, educators, childcare providers, pediatricians and policymakers.


Julie Patel  (Owner)          
The Goddard School                
210-317-7468 (Cell)


The Goddard School