Screen Free Week Brings Plymouth State University Students to the Center for Young Children and Families

A practice in play-based learning for families

PLYMOUTH, N.H.  – Plymouth State University (PSU) undergraduate students majoring in Early Childhood Education engaged children and families in playful learning experiences in celebration of Screen Free Week (SFW) at the Center for Young Children and Families.

SFW is an annual, worldwide movement to get children and families to disconnect from digital devices for a week. Instead of watching TV and using on apps, children are encouraged to play, get active, be creative, and spend more time with family and friends. This year, Screen Free Week (SFW) was April 30-May 6.

The Center for Young Children and Families (CYCF) at Plymouth State University (PSU) joined the celebration of Screen Free Week and encouraged parents to do the same. PSU students in the Early Childhood Education undergraduate program were at the Center on Tuesday, May 1 interacting with young children and their families in sensory play, physical play, and games.

The event was part of a project students have developed in Pat Cantor’s course Play and Learning in Early Childhood. “The students have been learning about the many developmental benefits of play for young children, and this experience provided the opportunity for them to apply what they’ve learned,” said Cantor. “Students shared information about the benefits of play with the children’s families along with resources for offering screen-free activities at home.”

For almost 40 years, PSU has provided high-quality early care and education for the children and families of the Plymouth community through the Center for Young Children and Families. Each semester, the CYCF hires 40-70 PSU students as classroom aides. The CYCF serves as a learning lab for students in Early Childhood Education courses and Nursing, who engage in

practice teaching at the site. This partnership allows the CYCF to maintain high-quality child care and low teacher-child ratios, while providing authentic learning and work experiences for PSU students.

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