Is it harmful or helpful to actively provide educational activities to toddlers?

2017-10-17 07:42:53

I hear from a lot of people that the best way for very young children is through self directed play and that any adult directed activities are at best not helpful and possibly actively harmful to their development. Is there any evidence behind this view?

Adult directed activities might be things like having a “colour of the week” where the adult points out that colour, demonstrates examples from a collection of objects brought together for this purpose. Or setting aside a time to look at letters and naming them. Or focusing on counting objects around the house. Instead of just waiting for the child to ask about these things during their free play. I guess it would also include more maligned activities like flash cards.