Iad a s to develop
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.
– 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.
– 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.
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.
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.