Learning through Play
As adults, we often believe that “play time” for children is only a time for them to get up, move around and have some fun in between bouts of sitting and learning. However, research has shown that playtime is not just fun time. In fact, the play is an integral part of how children learn and experience their world.
Benefits of Play
For preschool kids, play is an essential part of their learning process, whether in the classroom, outside on recess or at home. While often considered a waste of time, play time carries many benefits in for kids in preschool and daycare.
Studies have shown that playtime for young children has the following benefits to children:
- -Gives the opportunity to socialize with other children
- -Increases their confidence by developing new skills
- -Promotes imagination, creativity and independence
- -Increases self-awareness and self-respect
- -Improves their mental and physical health and wellbeing
- -Gives children the chance to develop social skills and learning
- -Builds resilience through challenge and risk taking, problem solving and dealing with new situations
- -Gives children the opportunity to learn about their environment and the community
- -Reduces children’s stress
- -Provides children with a way to improve gross and fine motor skills
As young children play, they develop many skills including how to deal with emotions, how to be creative, develop their social skills and even develop their language skills. So, play is a part of the process of young children learning how to work with others, to share, solve problems, reduce stress, and more.
Young Children Not Able to Sit Still and Learn for Long Periods
Many parents are not aware that young children are not physically, emotionally or psychologically able to only sit still and learn during their time at daycare. Kids won’t gain this ability until they’re about seven years old. Before they’re seven, the most important things children can do is to develop physically and creatively.
This is because the side of the brain governing young kids’ growth and development is the right brain. After this, when they reach the age of seven, and until they’re about eleven years old, abstract thinking begins. Then kids are ready to sit and learn. What they learn in their early years, children are then ready to use by the time they’re seven and older.
Types of Players
Childhood can be a time of fun and games. In fact, the games are great for kids of all ages. When young children play, they usually are one of three types of players. Let’s take a look.
- Directors: are those kids who make the rules. These children may enjoy playing with toys that can be used for construction, such as Legos and blocks. They may also enjoy creating collections such as beads, etc. This type of play encourages development of several skills, such as manipulating objects, drawing up plans, creating reports, and more. In the future, these kids may possibly go on to become a project manager, an HR specialist or even an accountant.
- True players: these are the kids who create the rules and are usually the main character in their games. These may include such roles as mother, daughter, doctor, sellers, etc. This type of child considers everything he does as part of himself. These types of players may become business coaches, manager, product owners, etc. when they grow up.
- Play by the rules: in these types of games, children know the rules and they know playing by the rules will help them win. Children who “play by the rules” are able to work well within the rules and understand how to properly use the rules for their benefit, which is to win. Kids in this type may become lawyers, marketing and sales, top managers, etc. If you notice, these are the people who are able to identify the rules and understand “how to play the game.”
While this is a bit of an oversimplification, it can help to demonstrate how play helps a child develop their knowledge and then how to put that knowledge to work as they grow into their elementary years and beyond.
Play is essential to young children for the many benefits they receive. Kids who have the chance to play learn how to use their imaginations, be creative, develop many types of skills and more. Here at, Pinnacle Preschools, our children are encouraged to play as they learn, in order to gain knowledge about themselves and their environment, as they engage in fun learning activities.
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