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Learning Through Play

Thanks to Addy who started this thread, we have an alternative voice to teaching our children through flashcards!

Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Professor at Temple University and author of the book "Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn– And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less ", gave a talk at "The Preschool Education Revolution" organized by MindChamps on 12 July 2008.  Excerpts of her talk can be found on YouTube:

If you ignore the occasional marketing pitch for MindChamps Pre-school and barbs against the flashcard memory training proposed by Glenn Doman, Shichida, Tweedlewink, and other baby education methodologies, a lot of what she says do make sense.  The value of unstructured toddler play is not to be under-estimated, and she is a strong proponent of early preschool education which focuses of fostering EQ in children through play, instead of "drilling" academic or encyclopedic knowledge.  In the year 2030, do we want to have a nation of robots, or do we want Singapore to be run by creative problem-solvers that can adapt to any situation?  That was the pragmatic question she threw to the floor.

Definitely worth a look-see.  Especially when she tries to say the term "kia-suuu".


One way to motivate students

Learning through play does engage students thus motivating them to learn more. I have tried it and have observed that students tend to participate more.



China's 1 year old baby Memory

Unstructured activities is good, but guided in every small activities helped! 

Saw a video of a one year old child who could match 1000 Chinese characters with picture cards.  Scientists thought he was a prodigy, and later found that the baby is a normal baby whom his mother has trained daily with such memory.  His mum will even teach him the numbers in the lift by pointing and saying aloud the numbers.

So it goes to show to see results, you need to train.

Agreed. Play is definitely an

Agreed. Play is definitely an important element of learning.


Thanks for sharing

Interesting article and topic

Great article! Thanks for

Great article! Thanks for sharing!

Gd points

yes. agree, gd pts raised


this is a very effective way

this is a very effective way of learning!!

Playground of Learning in a Child's Mind

I can never agree more with this. Learning through play not only enlivens a lesson that has the objective of teaching a certain concept, but it also enables the child to grasp the concept more clearly and easily, not to mention to retain the learnt concept in the mind for the long term.

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing

The videos are great!!!

Great resources to learn in innovative and playful ways.

Learning through play rather than flash cards

Though throughout primary level, I had flashcards for my kids, somehow these cards didn’t quite sit well with them.

I’ve realised that simple outings like a walk in the park or trip to the supermarket, are enriching to the kids. They pick up new vocabulary and we could turn around scenarios we see into speaking topics.

Even a trip to the playground or to the beach can be a learning adventure for them. And we don’t quite need flashcards in that sense.

Its true that play and EQ

Its true that play and EQ is important and memorizing will only get you so far. However, seems that the title of her book that starts “Einstein Never Used Flash Cards:” cause many to totally disregard the benefits of using flash cards and introduction of academics /written knowledge in general.

Unfortunately, our education system now expect kids to be academically advance from a young age and part of the tools they will have is to learn to read earlier and start their academic training earlier.

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