"Today is Wednesday. Are Coach L and Coach Kat from Playworks coming?” LaToya Paley, business manager at Precious Moments Learning Center, has been peppered with this question all summer. She says Playworks has been a blessing to herself, her staff, and the children at Precious Moments Learning Center.
“You guys have helped us so much this summer and taught us so many tips with helping the kids, keeping them focused when need to be, and then having fun and just being kids," LaToya says.
This summer, Playworks has partnered with The Center for Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning (CASE) and Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) to conduct our programming at six early childhood learning centers. While there, we are playing games that reinforce literacy and numeracy.
After talking with the kids at Precious Moments Learning Center it is very clear that foursquare is a group favorite. LaToya agreed saying, “The kids play four square all the time, but have never added the element of talking during the game, or as they call it categories. This not only provides exercise for their muscles, but for the brain as well. Having to focus on multiple things at a time is a great activity for the kids to practice."
Another game that stands out to the staff at Precious Moments is Over Under. During the game, there are two lines of kids; each line passes back the ball either over their head or under their legs, alternating methods with each person as quickly as possible. For example the first person passes over their head, second person passes under their legs, third person over their head and so on…. According to LaToya, “this game is great for developing teamwork and also helps teach the kids the proper concept of what it means to be over or under.”
The staff at Precious Moments Learning Center has taken lessons they have learned from Playworks and applied it to their center. LaToya says they have learned how important it is to ‘zone ‘ the playground. “Telling the kids that this is the jump rope area. If you want to jump rope, you can only be here, and then this is the football area or soccer; so they have many different options to keep them busy instead of just free play and go do whatever they want. I have been taking notes and trying to learn how you guys are operating because it has really made things move smoothly!“
During this unique 8-week program, Playworks Texas’ staff has impacted approximately 300 children, using the power of play to bring out the best in every kid.