Simple games of peek-a-boo, shaking a rattle or singing a song are much more important than just a way to pass the time. They teach young children about communication, develop their motor skills and help with problem-solving.
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Something as easy as stacking and knocking over blocks allows toddlers to discover maths and science concepts, including shapes, gravity, balance and counting. These early childhood games are vital to laying the foundations for formal education. In most cases learning through starts with parents or carers engaging with, playing with and responding to the child. This is when the most significant brain development happens, particularly in the first two years of life.
Learning through play (early childhood development) ✎ Theirworld
This means a child cannot wait for primary school for learning to begin. However, in poor families, where parents may work long hours and are struggling just to feed their families, access to appropriate toys and the ability to make time for play can be limited. Problem solving, creativity, and willingness to take risks are just a few of the skills developed through play. Is your child under 2 years old?
Learning through play (early childhood development)
When children play with each other, they are given the opportunity to learn how to interact with others and behave in various social situations. All of the stages of play involve exploring, being creative, and having fun. Play starts when we are babies, but it does not stop there! Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. It relieves stress and increases happiness.
It builds feelings of empathy, creativity, and collaboration. It supports the growth of sturdiness and grit. When children are deprived of opportunities for play, their development can be significantly impaired. Play is so important that NAEYC has called it a central component in developmentally appropriate practice, and the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights declared it a fundamental right of every child.
Play is not frivolous. Play is the real work of childhood. Through it, children have their best chance for becoming whole, happy adults.
We believe that play is the primary vehicle for optimal growth in childhood. Below are just some of the ways children learn through play:.
Learning happens most effectively with open-ended materials that can be used in multiple ways to nurture creativity in children. Try hands-on materials like blocks, sand, water, dirt, child-sized wheelbarrows, small shovels, ramps, balls, and so on.
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Sometimes the purpose of the object for play time only becomes clear in the child's creative hands—a stick could become a magic wand, the pole for a flag, something to stir with, or a pointer to show which way to go. Set aside an hour as often as you can each week to spend some quality play time with your child and do exactly what he or she wants to do. Your child leads the play time and you follow.
How Kids Learn to Play: 6 Stages of Play Development
That means if your child wants you to sit in the sandbox with her, you do it. Or if he wants you to play the baby and he plays the mommy, you do it. Your presence enables another level of meaningful play to happen. Of course we all want our children to move in the direction of associative and cooperative play, but that takes time.
On this episode, Rachel Robertson, Bright Horizons education and development vice president, and new mom Amanda, discuss the importance of play.
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