My name is Yacout Iraqi. I am a clinical psychologist specializing in child and adolescent psychopathology and I work as a psychologist for the French Ministry of Education in the secondary level.
I am going to talk to you about the importance of play in children, especially the Kitibook, which I recently learned about.
1-The importance of play :
When a small child plays, he learns. It is through play that he learns his first lessons. He learns to control his body, to develop his language, his thinking and his reasoning.
To do this, he needs to enter into a relationship with an adult, who will give meaning to his experiences, who will name them, and who will offer him toys and games that are more supervised and more specific.
The adult must therefore ensure that the game or toy offered is constructive and adapted to the child’s age.
2-What is a good toy?
A good toy is first and foremost a toy that is loved by the child and that he or she considers to be his or her possession. It is charged with an affective value that is linked to its symbolic value (context, moment of discovery of the game, person who offered it…).
But above all, it is a toy that allows the child to develop his creative abilities.
Creativity is sought after, because it benefits the child’s awakening. It induces his commitment, solicits his attention and thus promotes his learning.
It gives rise to the expression of the child and the enrichment of his imagination.
These conditions are favorable to the child’s intellectual and psycho-affective development.
3-What makes the Kitibook a good toy?
1-The Kitibook is an evolutionary game. It develops different abilities (motor, creative, intellectual) in children, depending on their age.
Between 10 months and 2 years old for example, it is the motor exploration, the pleasure of the gesture that will allow the child to learn, to make observations. He will be interested in texture and colors. For example, he will stick and unstick the different shapes proposed by the pages of the Kitibook, manipulate them, distinguish the colors…
At this age, the Kitibook is a stimulating object, which induces the curiosity and the active position of the little child and thus the desire to understand.
At 5 years old, the child will be interested in grouping these same objects by category, or by size for example. At this time, the child’s sense of observation and reasoning will be solicited and stimulated at this age.
2-The material is designed to develop the child’s symbolic function.
This means that the child will begin to understand the meaning of symbols, to associate them with a meaning.
The kitibook offers a page that associates the number symbol with a number of beads.
One of the pages of the Kitibook represents the time frame, the presence of the moon symbol, and dark sky, helps the child understand that it is night.
So these are different learning situations that will predispose the child to understand the meaning of numbers, words and codes used in our society.
3-Finally, the pages of the Kitibook help develop the child’s creativity, both in terms of solving the constrained systems posed by the game and in terms of imagination. The child can link the pages and tell a story with the different items. They can identify with the male or female characters of the Kitibook, make the link with the proposed time frame…
4-Why do we prefer the Kitibook to tablets, television or the virtual world, during early childhood?
In conclusion, we can say that the Kitibook is a material that engages the child to learn, because of its playful aspect and completely adapted to the potentialities and the age of children from 0 to 6 years.
It allows the child to be in an active position, that’s why it is necessary to favor a well thought-out game of awakening to the screens.
It is necessary to know that when the use of the screens is excessive and exclusive in the children between 0 and 3 years, the child is in passivity. He has the feeling of being fulfilled and not feeling any lack, which hinders the creativity essential to the awakening of the child.
This exclusive use can have as a consequence a kind of derealization in the child, a relational cut. The child will thus be less able to establish relations with real people, because he learns instability by the fact of not receiving messages in return to his mimics, in front of the television set.