Play is Important for Early Childhood Development: So let’s be a cowboy or a cowgirl!

One day in October, Miss Kadie Royals’ 3-year-old class decided they would play cowboys and cowgirls. The children used their imaginations to create a western-style outfit, giddy-up on a stick pony, and eat some cowboy grub. What fun!

According to Troy Christian’s Child Care Director, Deb Camp (who also dressed up for the occasion), play is an important part of a child’s social and emotional development, because it can introduce future careers and interests. “Pretending to be a cowboy today could lead to a passion for horses, which could lead to a career in veterinary science,” Mrs. Camp shared. “Singing songs around a pretend campfire “roasting” marshmallows could lead to a career in culinary arts. Who knows? We don’t want to stifle a child’s imagination because we don’t know where God will lead them in their career choices,” she added.

Preschool Director, Barb Ruland, stated that our culture has become one of “leagues and lessons,” so that when children are done with school, their afternoon/evening consists of sporting leagues and music or dance lessons. Further, technology has created a lot of “screen time” for kids.

So, at TC, we make sure there is time for play! And since it is such an important part of a child’s development, we try to observe the interactions and create helpful assessments so parents may know how their child’s “play with others” is developing.

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There are so many developmental advantages and learning concepts that come from just letting children use their imaginations…not to mention, how cute are they in cowboy hats?

Kudos to these teachers for helping our little cowboys and cowgirls imagine life on the ranch. (l-r) Teacher-cowgirls Laura Wainscott, Katie Banta, and Kadie Royals.