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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET The human brain is an apparatus, first and foremost, for dealing with the social environment. —Judith Rich Harris, The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do Abundant research exists on the importance of social skills for success in school. “Whole” children attend school; they don’t just send their brains along. Nurturing children’s social and emotional skills in preschool enables them to profit from school instruction. Children who thrive in preschool are prepared to become members of a classroom community where the individual’s needs come after the needs of the group—a tough lesson for young children. Children who do well in preschool listen to directions, pay attention, solve disputes with words, and focus on tasks without constant supervision. Recent research suggests that they learn these skills through playful activities. —Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Laura E. Berk, and Dorothy G. Singer, A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL