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Research shows that young children learn about the world best through play. What may seem to be "idle" time is instead the way that the young have of expressing and exploring ideas about the world they live in. Pretend play helps them examine the roles people play in society, and finger games and songs often teach counting, colours, and letters. Children who are allowed to explore their creativity in this manner often do better in school later in life as they are more likely to look at their work with fresh eyes, rather than merely rehashing old rules and ideas. Workbooks and worksheets are fine for older children, but for a preschooler, look for a place where learning is primarily through play. You will be glad you did.