A vast amount of learning occurs when children play. Play time has a tremendous influence on their overall development and significantly impacts a variety of learning processes related to curiosity, facing challenges, socialization, and problem-solving. Playing also provides opportunities for children to explore their world and how it works. By learning through play, children can develop useful skills and build confidence as they discover new interests.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate play into your child’s learning activities. Read on and learn how you can use learning through play to enhance your child’s learning.
Make learning fun by turning learning activities into games
Playing a board game with your child is a great way to encourage learning through play. A board game that incorporates different concepts can be a wonderful opportunity for children to gain new skills while having fun. Popular cooperative games like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders allow kids to discover new concepts like shapes, numbers, and letters. You can also turn flashcards into a matching game by pairing them with other sets on various topics.
Give real-life objects multiple uses
Many children enjoy activities that provide opportunities to learn new things while pretending. For example, you can grab a plain wooden spoon and have your child pretend it’s a magic wand. This is an excellent way to encourage learning through play, while tapping into the imagination. You can also infuse learning into other play-based scenarios, such as using the spoon as a prop during storytime, or while acting out plays with your child.
Offer learning opportunities through playdates
Research has shown that children tend to learn best when interacting with their peers in collaborative activities, such as playdates.
Set up a playdate that weaves together imagination and learning for your child and other kids. Let them use different materials, like games, puzzles, and other toys that your child enjoys. During playdates, children have opportunities to interact and learn from one another as they bond over stories, games, and other educational activities.
Encourage dramatic play
Dramatic play is an imaginative activity in which children can act out real-life scenarios using props and costumes. These activities are an excellent way for children to exercise their creativity while learning different concepts.
For example, find an everyday object like a cardboard box, and turn it into a car, airplane, or spaceship. Playing make-believe is a wonderful way for children to explore various concepts including transportation, space, and time. Engage children as you encourage them to be creative by designing their own props and costumes.
Incorporate learning materials into outdoor play
Outdoor learning activities can often provide a more relaxed, casual learning atmosphere that is also conducive to learning. Make learning about the alphabet fun while playing in the sandbox or during water-play activities. In addition to teaching the letters of the alphabet, these activities can also enhance your child’s hand-eye coordination, physical development, and muscle strength.
Use toys to promote learning through play
There is an extensive range of learning toys on the market that provide educational opportunities for kids. Visit your local toy store and choose educational games, puzzles, and learning cards that offer activities related to science, math, and language concepts. Invite your child to choose learning toys that seem most interesting.
Find learning activities that work for your child
It’s most beneficial to identify learning concepts and learning activities that are most likely to engage and interest your child. For example, books tend to be a hit with most children because they can learn through stories and familiar characters, and they tend to be more interactive than other learning materials (such as flashcards.) Finding learning activities that are of interest to specific children will help you encourage learning opportunities every day without forcing them.
It’s important for learning to be engaging and fun, and opportunities for learning can be woven into all sorts of play. Use these ideas to encourage learning through play with your little one. By doing so, you can set children on the path to success, in the classroom and beyond!
At The Pillars Christian Learning Center, we believe that the foundation needed for a lifetime of success and achievement begins with an excellent education. We know that parents love their children and want the best possible education for them. Give them the start they need, so they can go on to do amazing things! Visit our website to learn more!