Why story-based playtime is vital to child development

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Once upon a time, in an education system not very far away, there was a dark and stormy debate about the importance of story-based play in EYFS. But while some claim too much focus on make-believe activities fails to prepare children for the transition to Year 1, Pam Jarvis argues that preserving opportunities for young learners to act out the tales told to them in nursery and Reception is the best way to achieve a happy ending

Playtime is vital to child development

It is a cornerstone of the knowledge curriculum that we should communicate the great narratives of humankind to children, giving them access to the very best that has been thought and said throughout our history. There is agreement among philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, linguists, biologists and anthropologists (1) that human beings define themselves, others and the world around them through stories. As such, providing access through storytelling to the overarching cultural narratives that underpin our society makes very good sense.

The relevance of “storying”, both in terms of ...

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