Play School: the new learning platform for a 40-something

A HOUSE, with a door. One, two, three, four – ready to play? What’s the day? It’s Saturday!

After reading the brief house-themed intro above, people of particular age range will have a memories of watching Play School on television. Dancing, singing songs, listening to stories, learning how to tell the time, being creative and artistic, and learning a shedload of general knowledge was all part of the Play School experience.

I’m very thankful for Play School. My level of thankfulness is not just confined to the 1970s when I watched it on our bulky four-button television set: I’m thankful for Play School now, right now, here, in 2019. I ought to mention that my gratefulness for Play School has been made possible by YouTube.

In the 1970s, the programme proved to be a firm and fun platform for me learning how to tell the time: the big hand in pointing to the twelve meant it was something o’clock. I learned about the four seasons. I learned how to make paper snowflakes. I was always intrigued by what was through the different shaped windows. In conclusion, I loved Play School – the basic level of education it gave was the perfect springboard for my early learning.

Fast-forward forty-and-a-bit years, in fact, to this week, when I watched an episode of Play School. As a young boy, I played conkers – there was a huge conker tree near the upper playground at Harlesden Primary School, and there was always an abundance of conkers as autumn crept-in. If someone had asked me what tree conkers came from, my reply would be a Conker Tree. A Conker Tree would still have been my reply up until Tuesday of this week. Now, after Play School took me through the arched window, I have learned something new: conkers come from the Horse Chestnut tree! I now even know what their flowers look like! Wowsers!

So, week commencing 18th November 2019, I’m really thankful for that 1976 episode of Play School. It’s not just my dendrology studies that needs brushing-up, my clock-reading skills could do with a bit of attention too: light was shed on this eroded area when I had to think about what time the clock-face at a train station was actually saying. I figured-out the time in the end, but the 10 seconds it took me to solve the clock-face riddle was a bit worrying. I blame the likes of Fitbit, iPhone and iPad for my backwardness in time-telling on a clock with hands.

This weekend, I’m going to ditch the multiple channels on television; instead, I’m going to broaden my knowledge by watching a few episodes of Play School. I guarantee you, that by the end of 2019, my sluggish 10-second clock-reading timing, will be slashed by at least 75 percent.


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