In this episode of The Peaceful Parenting Podcast, I interview  Kristen RB Peterson on letting go of “getting ready for kindergarten” and focusing on play based learning instead. Listen in as we discuss the findings of studies on the importance of play and how to foster more play in your home.

We talk about:

  • 4:45 Study about play based preschools vs. academic preschools
  • 5:30 Confusion around what play is and what play is not
  • 6:45 Five Characteristics of play
  • 11:31 Play schemas (patterns in children’s play)
  • 13:00 Importance of “loose materials” for play
  • 14:42 Why parents should avoid academic focused preschools
  • 26:13 NASA Creativity Study
  • 33:00 How parents can help their kids have more play
  • 38:00 Importance of risky play in early childhood

Download the episode transcript HERE

Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • IG @kristen.rb.peterson
  • Play-Based Learning Podcast 
  • Kristen’s Website 
  • Citations for the studies: “Studies that compared the performance of children attending academic preschools with those attending play-based preschools showed no advantage in reading and math achievement for children attending academic preschools. However, evidence did suggest that children attending academic preschools had higher levels of test anxiety, were less creative, and had more negative attitudes toward school than did the children attending play-based preschool.” Swart, K., & Houser, K. (2023). Early Childhood Play and Academics: What Are Parents’ Perceptions? Dimensions of Early Childhood, 51(2), 28–32.
  • The second study mentioned: Zekarias, E. Z., & Zhao, W.(2023) Parent play beliefs, play as a teaching technique, and teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, and children’s early numeracy and literacy skills: Evidence from Wolaita Zone, southern Ethiopia. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 11(01), 270-292.

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