Play is much more important to children than many parents realize. This is the key to the learning process. Educators and psychologists around the world agree that the game helps to enrich the learning process and develop a child’s key cognitive skills.
In fact, the game is the child’s first “job”. If they are successful in this, it will be easier for them to be successful in other aspirations in their life.
Sometimes it is a big question for parents on how to support children’s play and make it useful for their development. In daycare Little Scholars, the team of professionals provides an individual approach to every little student to make the educational process fun and effective.
What is the importance of learning through play?
The game is good because it discovers more children’s educational opportunities, connects learning mechanisms, and develops them.
Some parents worry when they see a child playing all the time, they consider it a waste of time. However, it should be understood that a properly organized game and creative process can bring many benefits.
You may wonder “How does play enhance learning”, and the impact is massive. While learning through play, the child acquires necessary skills both for the upbringing and general development of the child, including physical training.
These are some examples of what a child learns during the game (action – result):
- smile, other facial expressions – establishing psychological contact with others;
- outdoor games with other children and various objects and toys – development of motor skills and improvement of physical fitness;
- use of various constructors – mastering the concepts of size, weight, symmetry, quantity, and balance, as well as developing coordination skills;
- theatrical performances – the development of skills in helping oneself and others, the ability to interact with others and build their own world.
It turns out that if games and creativity are so important in the educational process, should they be scheduled at a certain time every day? Not really.
So what do we mean by learning through play and when is it appropriate? Of course, you can try to schedule the game at a specific time of day, but you should also keep in mind the following important points. In most cases, the game is most effective when it is:
- not strictly limited
When organizing the process of the game, parents and educators need to be aware of how play stimulates learning.
You should take into account important points that will ensure the greatest benefit of this activity for the development of the child:
Reserve enough time to play. Children need some time to master the game, let themselves dive into the activity, and acquire the necessary skills. They tend to get angry when the game is suddenly or prematurely interrupted. The activities of the game should be varied according to the types of children’s crafts.
Participation of adults. It is good when parents, educators, and teachers participate in the game together with the children. In most cases, children play well alone or with their peers, but sometimes their educational experience can benefit from adult feedback and participation.
Supervising the process. Help your child correctly tune in to positive game interaction with other participants in the process. In case of friction between the children, you will have to help them to overcome it and get them interested in continuing with the game.
Educational games for preschool children can be very diverse. It all depends on the imagination and wishes of the parents, on what specific knowledge they want to give the child. Here are some ideas and tips:
- For very young children (from 1.5 to 2 years old), it is advisable to combine the usual game with presenting new information. How do toddlers learn through play? For example, when building a pyramid, folding cubes, rolling cars, etc., you can tell the child the colors of the elements, their shape and number them. It is important that such games and names are systematic. In this case, the child will quickly remember the new information.
- There is a large number of educational toys designed for a certain age that have been presented in children’s stores. They are very useful for children since they allow them to develop various skills (fine motor skills, size recognition, etc.) and they are really fun for the kid since they are developed taking into account child psychology and age characteristics.
- For older preschoolers (ages 5 and up), you can enter a “growth scale.” On this scale, the child will independently celebrate their successes and achievements, gradually climbing the stairs. For example, a scale related to the learning of the alphabet may have the following division levels: familiarity with letters, a partial reproduction of the alphabet, a complete reproduction of the alphabet, vowels, consonants, etc. It is good that the baby receives pleasant encouragement for taking a new step: a sweet, a small toy, or simply praise.
- It is easy to learn traffic rules during the game, introduce the child to professions, etc. Various thematic sets, illustrated books, large-scale images depicting a road with crossroads and road signs, etc. You can do the same thing representing a particular profession or activity.
So why is play important for young children?
The arbitrary memory when the child purposefully puts an effort to learn some new information is not yet so efficient at an early age. If you want your child to remember something new, present it in a playful way.
Thus, a child will remember very well and easily a list of certain products if they are asked to imagine that they go to the store and need to buy those products. In this case, a child doesn’t think that it is a boring exercise but a fun game.
Parents can be creative and invent their own games. It is also a smart move to let the professionals from Little Scholars discover your kid’s talent and teach them something new.
The main thing to remember is that the baby should be interested and the learning process should be just an additional part for children of this age. The main thing is to make children happy and nurture them as individuals.