Click here to read "Want to Get Your Kids into College? Let them Play" by Erika and Nicholas Christakis, Harvard University.
"Every day where we work, we see our young students struggling with the transition from home to school. They're all wonderful kids, but some can't share easily or listen in a group.
Some have impulse control problems and have trouble keeping their hands to themselves; others don't always see that actions have consequences; a few suffer terribly from separation anxiety.
We're not talking about preschool children. These are Harvard undergraduate students whom we teach and advise. They all know how to work, but some of them haven't learned how to play."
"When it comes to preparing young children for school: play-based or skill-based curricula are often pitted against one another as a zero-sum game. (We think) if you want your child to succeed in college, the play-based curriculum is the way to go."
"Through play, children learn to take turns, delay gratification, negotiate conflicts, solve problems, acquire flexibility, and live with disappointment. By allowing children to imagine walking in another person's shoes, imaginative play also seeds the development of empathy, a key ingredient for intellectual and social-emotional success.
The real 'readiness' skills that make for an academically successful kindergartener or college student have as much to do with emotional intelligence as they do with academic preparation.