Learning doesn’t always have to be books and pencils. It’s perfectly normal for your child to get bored with reading and writing, but learning shouldn’t stop there. Learn about the importance of play in your child’s development here.
What can you read in this article?
- The importance of play in child development
- Learning through play benefits
- How to make math fun
There are a lot more ways to introduce learning to your child and aid in her overall development. Spice up your educational activities by introducing learning through guided play!
Research from the University of Cambridge found that teaching younger children through guided play can assist crucial areas of their learning and development as good as, if not better, than traditional instruction.
Gathering data from 3,800 children aged three to eight, the study concluded that this guided play approach to learning is exactly as effective as more traditional, teacher-led techniques in developing important abilities such as literacy, numeracy, social skills, and critical thinking skills.
The findings also imply that guided play may help youngsters grasp some abilities more efficiently than other ways, particularly in math.
Guided play is a broad term that refers to educational activities that provide children the flexibility to explore a learning goal in their own way while being guided by an adult. This could include developing imaginative games that require children to read, write, or solve math problems while playing.
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The Importance of play in child development
For years, playing has provided children with entertainment, pleasure, engagement, and of course learning. Through play, they are able to learn and discover the world on their own while enjoying themselves through various activities.
According to Mayra Mendez, a licensed psychotherapist and program coordinator at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center,
“Play is important because it provides a primary foundation for learning, exploring, problem-solving, and building an understanding of the world and your role within it.”
Thus, there is more to play than fun. It also promotes physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills that make part in your child’s overall development.
According to Melendez, play is beneficial to a child’s growth and critical thinking abilities. It helps children remember things, grasp cause-and-effect relationships, and explore the world and its role in it.
Children are also encouraged to pretend, create, and fantasize through play. Children benefit from creative, open-ended play because it allows them to imagine, brainstorm, and practice critical thinking abilities.
Learning through play benefits children in the social aspect as well. Children learn social expectations and rules through play, and it also gives an opportunity for them to share their thoughts and ideas, listen, and compromise.
Learning through play benefits children by actively involving youngsters in the environment around them, play fosters healthy habits. This helps to address concerns that many children now encounter, such as childhood obesity.
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Kim Wheeler Poitevien, a child therapist in Philadelphia, tells Healthline that “Kids process their emotions and new concepts through play.”
Thus, children are taught how to comprehend and process their emotions. When a youngster, for example, loses a game, he or she learns to cope with loss, rage, and sadness.
There are a lot more learning through play examples that promote emotional benefits.
- Play is a natural stress reliever as well as an outlet for youngsters to work through their fears and anxieties.
- Playing also helps them develop their identity and self-esteem by boosting their confidence.
- During play, children make their own decisions and begin to make connections between their actions and their natural repercussions.
- Play encourages the development of self-control, which is essential for long-term success. They can learn to control their emotions, delay gratification, and bargain with others through play.
Play improves children physically in a variety of ways, including the development of fine and gross motor abilities.
Because playing involves movement, play promotes motor development, motor planning skills, balance, and dexterity. It also builds stamina, flexibility, energy, and body awareness.
Some physical learning through play examples are swimming, running, jumping, riding bikes, and climbing trees.
Learning through play examples
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Here are some guided play activities you can try with your child:
- Provide informational picture books to youngsters and assist them in finding answers to questions that are meaningful and relevant to them.
- Encourage everyday outside activities such as running, interacting with nature, and engaging in active physical play.
- Increase the amount of time you spend reading and telling stories on a daily basis. Books have rich stories and characters that can be used to encourage imaginative play.
- Assemble a set of related props for themed play so that kids can act out realistic events or games.
- Play with sand. Scooping, excavating, pouring, and sifting are all activities that teach youngsters how things function while also strengthening their muscles and coordination.
- Experiment with play dough and clay. It promotes fine motor skills, creativity, and hand-eye coordination as well as strengthening fingers – preparing your child to write.
How to make math fun
1. Find math outside
Head out for some fresh air and start an activity of finding math in the wild. For example, looking at various shapes, sizes, and angles in nature, buildings, roads, and even traffic signs.
2. Play with math brain games
There are a lot of board and card games for math that can stimulate your brain. Not only is it perfect for kids, adults can join too!
3. Bake and/or cook and strictly follow the recipe
Practicing measuring powders and liquids and get a sweet treat at the end.
Parenting tips for guided play
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1. Your presence improves guided play
Set out an hour per week, if possible, to spend quality time with your child and do precisely what he or she wants to do. Follow your child’s lead during playtime.
So if your kid wants you to be a monster and him a prince, or if he wants you to play in the sand, do it for him and enjoy the bonding and learning moment together.
2. Get into thinking by asking a lot of questions
Stimulate their mind by asking them open-ended questions and letting them discover and learn the world by practicing their critical thinking skills. Rather than asking straightforward inquiries, you may consider asking them why questions or testing what-if questions.
3. Show enthusiasm with your child’s interests
Showing interest in your child’s interests can motivate him to learn more about them. For example, if your youngster enjoys trucks, you may give him a toy construction set. If she loves drawing or painting, you can take her to a museum.
Playing is not just fun and entertainment, it is also crucial in the development and growth of your child. Next time you and your kid play, make sure that learning will be a big part of it.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.