For the lucky parents of both Hamilton and New Plymouth, their Future Kids Preschools are offering free childcare to two year olds. However, there are lots of other reasons why discerning parents are choosing Future Kids for their preschool children, beginning with their philosophy that, “The fewer toys kids have, the more the play.” Or as Albert Einstein so succinctly put it, “Play is the highest form of research.”
Two decades ago, a German project called, “Der Spielzeugfreie Kindergarten” (the nursery without toys) wanted to see what would happen if they took toys away from kindergartens. All toys from participating classrooms were removed for three months. One of the teachers, Gisela Marti, said, “In these three months we offer the children space and time to get to know themselves and because they are not being directed by teachers or toys, the children have to find new ways to master their day in their own individual way.”
The aim was to nourish self-confidence, imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities and socialization. Their days were deliberately unstructured to avoid children being rushed from one activity to the next. Instead, they were free to do what they wanted and how they wanted to do it. A video of the children was taken each day.
On the first day, the children appeared confused and bored as they peered apprehensively around their big empty classroom. But, by the second day, the kids were playing with chairs and blankets, making dens by draping blankets over tables and weighing them down with shoes. Soon they started running around the room, chatting and laughing excitedly. By the end of the third month, they were engaged in wildly imaginative play, able to concentrate better and communicate more effectively.
Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University, concluded after studying over 3000 children aged three to five that, “When children have a large number of toys there seems to be a distraction element, and when children are distracted they do not learn or play well.” Her research shows that children with fewer toys whose parents spend more time reading, singing or playing with them surpass those from even more affluent backgrounds.
Future Kids have created a place where imagination can be grown and skills can be developed, so for more information on childcare prices Hamilton, outdoor environments in early childhood and daycare Hamilton please go to https://www.futurekids.co.nz .