Iad a s to de­velop

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRIGHT KIDS -

PLAY is a nat­u­ral ac­tion for chil­dren. While it may seem dis­or­gan­ised and point­less to adults, there are un­der­ly­ing com­plex­i­ties to play, many of which bring ed­u­ca­tional and de­vel­op­men­tal ben­e­fits.

Play is ba­si­cally how very young chil­dren learn and prac­tise fine mo­tor skills and rea­son­ing. As chil­dren grow older, they fur­ther de­velop th­ese skills through play and also learn so­cial skills through in­ter­ac­tion with play­mates.

How­ever, in a largely rote­learn­ing so­ci­ety, there are of­ten not enough op­por­tu­ni­ties given to chil­dren to learn through play, es­pe­cially as they progress in their education.

Play time should not be un­der­es­ti­mated as it can pro­vide mean­ing­ful learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for chil­dren, which help chil­dren ef­fec­tively re­tain in­for­ma­tion that they learn in classes.

In fact, mod­ern cur­ric­ula have recog­nised the im­por­tance of this nat­u­ral be­hav­iour and have in­cor­po­rated it into the teach­ing and learn­ing process. In many preschools and in lower pri­mary classes, the ma­jor­ity of learn­ing is through play.

Here are some de­tails of the var­i­ous ben­e­fits play af­fords chil­dren.

– Play gives chil­dren mean­ing­ful con­texts to gain new con­cepts and skills, which al­low them to un­der­stand what they have learnt and put their knowl­edge into prac­ti­cal use.

Hands- on ac­tiv­i­ties give chil­dren the op­por­tu­ni­ties to not only use new- found skills but also ef­fi­ciently find so­lu­tions to prob­lems they en­counter in real life.

Mean­ing­ful ex­pe­ri­ences

– When chil­dren en­joy the learn­ing process, they be­come mo­ti­vated to learn and thus pick up new in­for­ma­tion quickly.

Fur­ther­more, a fun and re­laxed learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment en­cour­ages

Mo­ti­va­tion to learn

their cu­rios­ity and cre­ativ­ity, which drives them to ex­plore and learn more about the world around them.

– Chil­dren en­gage in var­ied lan­guage use dur­ing play and as such de­velop greater mas­tery of re­cep­tive lan­guage ( what a child un­der­stands) and ex­pres­sive lan­guage ( the words a child speaks).

They learn how to use a wider range of vo­cab­u­lary to ex­press their thoughts and ac­tions dur­ing play ses­sions, thus help­ing de­velop their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills.

Lan­guage de­vel­op­ment

– As chil­dren progress into preschool, they start in­ter­act­ing with each other.

Through th­ese in­ter­ac­tions, chil­dren learn to ne­go­ti­ate, co­op­er­ate, share and be aware of other peo­ple’s feel­ings, which are im­por­tant so­cial skills for life.

So­cial de­vel­op­ment

At home, par­ents can sup­ple­ment this de­vel­op­ment by in­tro­duc­ing new games or ac­tiv­i­ties as well as sched­ul­ing play dates with other chil­dren.

By ob­serv­ing your child’s be­hav­iour dur­ing this time, you can learn what so­cial skills your child has mas­tered and those that still need to be worked on.

– With arts and crafts, chil­dren learn how to put to­gether ex­ist­ing ob­jects and colours to cre­ate some­thing new.

In sto­ry­telling, chil­dren learn how to em­pathise with char­ac­ters’ emo­tions and trans­late text de­scrip­tions into im­ages.

In th­ese in­stances, chil­dren are ex­pand­ing their imag­i­na­tion, gain­ing new per­spec­tives and par­tic­i­pat­ing in ab­stract think­ing, all of which are cru­cial for their brain de­vel­op­ment.

Hav­ing the abil­ity to think, rea­son and imag­ine is im­por­tant for suc­cess in their fu­ture stud­ies, ca­reer and life.

Cog­ni­tive de­vel­op­ment

Phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment

While ac­tiv­i­ties such as watch­ing the tele­vi­sion or play­ing games on a tablet in­volve lim­ited or no mo­tor ac­tions, play ac­tiv­i­ties such as arts and crafts and sports in­volve the use of fine and gross mo­tor skills.

The lat­ter is im­por­tant in fa­cil­i­tat­ing chil­dren’s phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment as they learn about the func­tions of their anatomy and their phys­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

This leads to chil­dren de­vel­op­ing healthy bod­ies, which in turn helps de­velop healthy minds.

Par­ents can en­cour­age phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties by in­volv­ing them­selves in their child’s play.

Set aside an hour or more each day for a few days a week for phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties that in­volve gross mo­tor skills, such as jog­ging, swim­ming, play­ing games in the gar­den or those that in­volve fine mo­tor skills such as paint­ing or mak­ing crafts.

To in­stil an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for read­ing from an early age, Mor­ris Allen English en­cour­ages stu­dents to take home books from its li­brary each week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.