By Lisa Hunter / Staff Writer
When preschoolers from the LAC Child and Development Center met with students from the PCC for Trike Day they encountered more than just a fun day in the sun.
On Thursday, July 3, preschoolers brought their tricycles, bikes, scooters and helmets for a play-date on the Lawn, giving them a chance to build socialization skills, strengthen necessary motor skills and learn about biking rules and safety. The Summer event initiated interactive play among the preschoolers and allowed them the opportunity to learn in a fun atmosphere. Children were able to experience playing with kids from different classes while teachers observed how the children handled the interaction.
Alexis Masingill, 31, an early childhood education major who also works as a childcare assistant at the LAC center, said, “Playing with various age groups is a chance for them to practice following rules and to observe what they are interested in.”
While some children were captivated with the overall event and rode their vehicles repeatedly around a cemented pathway that circled the Lawn, other children got bored with riding and played in the grass. Kids who were more interested in one-on-one interaction sat and talked with one another on benches.
Preschoolers got plenty of exercise while riding and playing, but most importantly, they had the opportunity to work on important motor skill development, movement using the arms, legs and torso. It’s vital for children to develop motor skills because one skill builds upon another and eventually leads to success in reading and writing, education.com said.
Babycenter.com said playtime is not just for a child’s enjoyment, but a necessary part of their childhood development. Jasmine Carter, 19, a film production major, said, “I think playing is important for kids because they need to learn how to socialize with people.”
Debi Bouwens, a human development teacher at LAC, said, “Trike day was a day of fun and a time of participation and cooperation, … Children learn by play. In a sense, play is their work and they develop a lot of skills that they will need for future life thorough play.”
Bouwens said most kindergarten teachers would rather have children come into their classrooms with good social skills, emotional development and ability to solve problems as opposed to being able to spell their name.