Benefits of Learning Through Play for kids

Emma Davies
Stay at Home Mom

Although there are many benefits of play, the top three are:

  •      Play encourages relationship building
  •      Play encourages communication
  •      Play improves cognitive development

Play belongs to all children and there are many exciting aspects to enjoy. Whether it’s a let’s pretend game, or with a special loved toy or a random object, each child will go through many stages of play of different kinds as they progress their physical and mental development.

Also read - development toys by age group.

Children who engage in pretend games have more sophisticated levels of interaction with others, including adults.  All play should be spontaneous and enjoyable and through play children will be learning at the highest level.

Involving adults is fun

Take every opportunity of playing children’s games and you should feel honoured to be asked to join in.  You in effect become the ‘coplayer’ and in doing so enhance the play and learning of the child.  You’ll invariably be asked for your ideas so be prepared and get stuck in.  It doesn’t matter if you’re asked to be a monster or a shop lady, just do it and enjoy the fun. Being asked to be the teacher is one of the best games and playing schools is enjoyed by many young children.

Structured and unstructured play

'Play is one of the most misunderstood topics in education’

David Whitbread, Psychologist, University of Cambridge.

Both are beneficial and structured play has a set of rules such as board games or making puzzles, and children mostly engage in structured play.

Unstructured play has endless possibilities for example learning how to dress a doll or inventing a game.  Running and playing in a playground is also unstructured and the child will be establishing their own objectives in doing so.

Play is self-motivated and fun

'Free play is essential for normal emotional development’

Psychology Today

Make sure your child enjoys quality playtime as in doing so they will benefit in all areas of learning and be using their creativity to the fullest.   Make playtime a really special world for yourself and your kids. Ignore technology and use your imagination instead; you’ll be amazed at the fun you’ll enjoy.  Make it uninterrupted, and just see how your child reacts to becoming involved with a toy, a game or whatever, even if it’s an old box that’s now become a bed or car.  By switching to a play world completely you’ll be giving your child the fullest capacity for learning with its many benefits.

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