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Children learn about the world through play. All play is purposeful for the joyful, intellectual development of children. As educators, we have seen an increase in students with a lack of social-emotional skills. The kindergartners this year are among the first generation entirely raised on screens. Many children no longer play with others at home or engage in imaginative play. This has caused a social-emotional crisis when they enter kindergarten, where they now need to interact and play with peers. The kindergarten curriculum is rigorous and driven by reaching a level of success academically, as shown in testing implemented in the classroom. Developmentally, we are teaching five-year-olds who have specific cognitive and developmental stages that do not naturally mesh with the academic curriculum. Brain research shows us there is a better way to engage our littlest learners.

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