Teachers' and parents' perceptions of play activities in pre-schools in Choma district, Zambia.

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Samwangala, Kaumba
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The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of early childhood teachers and parents of children in early childhood institutions on the use of play activities to enhance children’s learning of literacy and numeracy skills. This study was guided by the following questions;1. What perceptions do teachers and parents of children in early childhood education have on how play activities enhance literacy and numeracy skills?2. How is play used in expressive activities to stimulate children’s interest in learning? literacy and numeracy skills? 3. What factors enable early childhood teachers to teach children play activities well? A descriptive survey research design US in this study. Five preschools were randomly selected for this study and a random sampling procedure was used to select twenty five teachers from the preschools and 100 parents with children in these schools were also randomly selected for the study. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and a semi-structured interview. The research findings established that early childhood teachers perceived the use of play activities like, drawing; tracing, coloring, songs, rhymes and computer games as stimulating children’s interest in literacy and numeracy skills. Parents of children in early childhood institutions also perceived helping their children in play activities to be something that assisted their children in learning literacy and numeracy skills.The study also established that teachers and parents used play activities like drawing, tracing to teach children literacy skills like reading and writing. Songs were also use to teach children words, numbers while puzzle activities were used to teach children simple mathematic concepts in addition and subtraction. Parents also used play activities to help children in their home work. Factors like; the teachers’ gender, educational attainment and teaching experience, enabled them to teach play activities better. The study recommended that the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education incorporates more play activities in the early childhood curriculum and that early childhood teachers were to be trained on how to teach children literacy and numeracy skills using play activities.
Childhood Play activities. , Children learning activities. , Elementary School-Choma, Zambia.