“Play is the key to academic success” http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/simon-says-dont-use-flashcards/
Parents who want to stimulate their children’s brain development often focus on things like early reading, flashcards and language tapes. But 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.” Play is one of the most cognitively stimulating things a child can do,” says Megan McClelland, an early-childhood-development researcher.
Language acquisition and fluency comes from face to face interaction between an adult and a child, not from a gadget or a flash card. Face to face interaction is how children play with language and play is one of the most cognitively stimulating things a child can do. Children's brains grow at a dazzling pace in the first years of life. Most of a baby’s 100 billion brain cells aren’t yet connected in networks. Those cells become connected when babies have stimulating experiences: reading singing, talking, and playing.
Research from the US Department of Education shows that early language experience actually stimulate a child’s brain to grow. Young children and infants need to be surrounded by people talking and talking a lot. Talking develops a child’s use and understanding of language, which is the basis of reading. Vocabulary development by age 3 has been found to predict reading success.