Flashcards: Do They Still Have a Place in Early Education?

I read a blog from the New York Times this morning about play being the “key to academic success” (Parker-Pope, 2012).  Aside from being intrigued by early education as part of my job, I am a new mommy and these articles resound differently with me.  Play vs. flashcards.  What is the best?  Is there room for both?  I am asking my child care community, what do you think?

Tara Parker-Pope tells us  that play is the way to go “…a growing body of research suggests that playing certain kinds of childhood games may be the best way to increase a child’s ability to do well in school.”  Tara’s blog post has a few easy to follow instructions of how to use childhood games such as Red Light, Green Light, Simon Says, and Clapping and Singing Games for early development  (Parker-Pope, 2012).

Tara’s recent post isn’t the only chatter about the importance of play in early education.  The National Association for the Education of Young Children has written position statements as well as many articles about how to incorporate play in learning.

They can be found here:
NAEYC Position Statement
Research and articles from Young Children and Teaching Young Children

If you follow any early education expert on Twitter or Facebook, chances are you will see articles, quotes and opinions posted about the importance of play in a child’s education.

What do you think?

Playing childhood games in a specific way sounds much more fun and enlightening to use with my daughter for her early development than flashcards.  I can’t help but wonder, though, could we use both?  Do flashcards still have place, along with play in early education and development?

Opinions please!  Post in the comments section.  Looking forward to hearing from you.


National Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Play and Children's Learning. Retrieved August 24, 2012, from National Association for the Education of Young Children: http://www.naeyc.org/play

Parker-Pope, T. (2012, August 23). Well. Retrieved August 24, 2012, from New York Times Health|Science:http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/author/tara-parker pope/


Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.