One of the things kids do best is play, and when they play they learn and grow as well. Learning through play is a great way for young children to develop their social skills, critical thinking skills, and more. Both structured and unstructured play environments should be available for every child, and parents should definitely join their kids in this game when they can. This is easier said than done since playing with our kids is not exactly easy for many moms.
As much as we love our children, we can’t imagine pretending to play with the PJ Mask figures for hours on end. It doesn’t matter if you think you are bad at gambling. Your child will love this time and attention with you. All playing time is time well spent. At home, provide toys that will allow your child’s imagination to flourish. Today’s Parent assures us that it doesn’t take a lot of money to provide a positive play environment and that simple toys are available for all ages.
Play kitchens, dolls, action figures, cars, blocks, books, and even boxes are all great inexpensive toys, but also great for learning through play. Sing the ABCs in a song is an example of learning through play and it is literally the foundation of everything we do. When playing with your child, let him or her lead the game. Do as they say and don’t fix the absurd situations they imagine. Go ahead and be amazed by their imaginations.
The game makes it easier for children to go to school
Academically, much is expected of our children at a young age, but we cannot expect preschoolers to be able to sit down to learn their letters and numbers for long periods of time. The same goes for preschoolers. It goes against what they naturally want to do, which is touch everything, pretend, and explore. Play-based preschools are increasingly popular, and young children thrive in dancing and singing to learn the basics. Children 3-5 years old learn best when they play with and alongside their peers.
Children at this age also like to stage what they have seen in their life. Emulating adult shopping or eating out shows an understanding of our society. Using fake menus or having shopping lists to pretend grocery shopping is an easy sign of an understanding of the language and the written word. As children move past preschool, kindergarten play becomes a bit more structured. Rules are introduced that help children take turns learning more, being patient and following instructions given to them. Games and play are also a good way to add fun to the school day for younger children. It helps them bond with each other through playing behavior.
In a US News article on parenting, early childhood development teacher Stephanie Jones explained the importance of play, saying, “Play provides children with the opportunity to practice important executive functions and skills. self-regulatory skills such as paying attention, inhibiting their impulses, and memorizing and updating information. “
Play-based learning continues to extend well beyond preschool and kindergarten. Students from the first cycle of primary to secondary school thrive through hands-on learning. High school kids love to play quizzes to review tests and these fun classroom times really help. In fact, touching, talking, and creating something helps us get to know it better.
Continue play-based learning at home by playing with your children and keeping them engaged with their toys.
Source: Today’s Parent, US News, Child Development Institute
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