Idabel Central Elementary has completed creating a S.T.R.E.A.M. lab. S.T.R.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math. With so much emphasis on technology in today’s students life Idabel Central Elementary was inspired to create more opportunities for students to participate in “creative play.”
Currently, one of the most concerning aspects of raising children is the amount of time they spend in front of screens, whether it is TV, DVD, video, computer, playstation, etc. When children focus their attention onto a screen, it is a very passive form of learning or entertainment. Instead of using their own imaginations to learn about the world and create something, children are passive recipients of visual and auditory stimulation that may or may not require some response using fine motor skills. However, this is a very artificial way of learning about the world and does not engage children in a kinesthetic manner using their entire bodies.
Imaginative and creative play is a more natural way for children to learn about the world and does involve the whole body. Children manipulate and touch various play materials. They express themselves through play both verbally and non-verbally. They use all of their muscles and senses to move around. Actively using their large and small muscles as well as their different senses in play, children develop healthy, strong, and complete neurological connections in their brains.
“Encouraging Children to Play Imaginatively and Creatively” Kathy Eugster Pacific Spirit Play Therapy Resources https://www.kathyeugster.com/articles/article007.htm
Experts agree creative play is extremely important in childhood development. “Creative play is a vital part of childhood and child development. Through creative and imaginative play children can grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically. Creative experiences help a child develop these skills and enable them to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Exposing children to creative opportunities contributes to, and furthers their development.” The Importance of Creative Play for Kids, The Little Gym Blog https://www.thelittlegym.com/blog/2017/9/the-importance-of-creative-play-for-kids/
This creativity also fosters mental growth in children by providing opportunities for trying out new ideas, and new ways of think and problem solving. There are so many benefits to hands on creative, imaginative play in the development of our children’s brains. Idabel Central Elementary strives to stimulate creative ideas and encourage students’ growth. We are working to foster children’s abilities to express themselves and problem solve in partnership with their peers. This will prepare them for their futures. One of the strongest benefits to creative play is the way it enhances social development and teaches students to work together to accomplish the desired outcomes.
Technology is a great educational tool but it is not the only tool in our teachers’ toolboxes. The visits to the Idabel Central Elementary S.T.R.E.A.M. lab will provide students the opportunity to control their environment by allowing them to exercise their powers of choice and decision making. Just like working adults. Idabel Central Elementary is “Preparing Champions for Life!” GO WARRIORS!