The research is in and it all points to the benefits of play being an essential tool for children to learn.
The word play has been made to sound like it is a dirty word and that it just children wandering around. The definition of play doesn’t help highlight the importance of play either. According to the dictionary play is defined as-engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose. Play is essential and very practical learning tool for children of all ages. The science of brain development is showing evidence that there is power in play. It is all too often that play is dismissed as “just fun”. But play is the essential activity that children use to learn and interact with their world. Children gain the mental, physical and social skills necessary to succeed in their adult lives. There are so many serious and practical reasons that you NEED to find an early learning center that focuses on play-based learning! Here are my top four reasons to not overlook the importance of play in your child’s learning process.
1. Social emotional health
Kids learn to interact with other children and peers though play. They learn problem solving and lifelong social skills. A child cannot learn to problem solve or work through making a friend by a lecture or being told this is how we introduce our self and the next step is. We overlook the power of a child working out a problem in the sand box or discussing the rules of a game on the playground. Some things just simply cannot be taught using a lecture teaching technique they must be taught by self-experience.
2. Foster Communication skills
Play allows children to have back and forth conversation. When children interact during play, they exchange ideas, information, and problem solve. They give this information through signals, speech, actions, and writing. This can even take place during individual play because a child will usually narrate their actions or give a break down of what is happening. During group play children usually handout roles and work together for a common goal.
3. Inspires Creativity
When a child can play, they are able to embrace their ideas and take charge. Children are very creative and when allowed to embrace play they can think outside the box and come up with other solutions and task. Creativity happens when your child’s critical thinking and skills merge to produce something new.
4. Builds Confidence
When a child can be a child, it builds them up for success. Building confidence is probably the number one benefit of play. Without confidence a child doesn’t take risks or try new things. When we compromise a child’s confidence, we break down their ability to explore. Play allows a child to take risks and experience others trying new things and taking various risks.
Find a school that encourages play and builds its foundation on allowing a child to be a child. Research continues to show that playing has positive benefits for active, engaged, meaningful, and socially interactive learning.
Child Success Advocate
Lead Pre-kindergarten Teacher