Learning through PLAY! Not worksheets
Whilst parents are eager for their children to learn, in order to prepare them for school, the way in which they go about it isn’t always the most beneficial for their child. The problem is that many parents associate learning with worksheets, when in actual fact the majority of skills are learnt through play.
Yes, if you want your toddler to learn and develop quickly, the key is to let them play and experiment, both at home and in a nursery environment. Here we’ll take a look at how children learn and the benefits of learning through play (not worksheets).
Children learn a lot through simple activities of play.
How children learn
Children learn many things from using their senses. Tasting, touching, seeing, hearing and smelling allows them to gain a better understanding of the world around them.
They also learn by watching and copying other people. This is why engaging with your child and demonstrating good habits is essential to their well-being.
Finally, children learn through play. Whilst play is a fun activity, it can actually teach children a lot about themselves, other people and the environments they find themselves in.
Why is learning through play important?
Play helps to build toddlers’ self-esteem and give them a sense of their abilities. Because it is fun, children enjoy doing it and become absorbed in it, helping to boost their levels of concentration. Different play activities can help children learn different things. Below we’ve outlined some of the play activities you can do with your child to boost their learning.
Play can help your children develop their logic skills.
Building blocks – Playing with blocks and doing jigsaws is a great way to help your child develop a sense of logic. It will enable them to learn how to recognise different shapes and sizes and put them in the right order.
Painting – Painting and drawing, as well as things like playing with dough can help children to develop their creative skills. It will give them an opportunity to use their imagination and express their feelings.
Playing ball games – Physical activities like playing ball, dancing and climbing will assist children in improving their co-ordination. It will also help them to build body strength and increase flexibility.
Turn taking – Playing games that require your child to have a turn and share with others will greatly improve their social skills.
Singing – Musical activities like singing and playing instruments will boost your child’s listening skills and help them to develop a sense of rhythm.
Making learning fun
When it comes to teaching your toddler new things, the key is to make it fun. Hand them a worksheet and they’ll look at your blankly but encourage them to play with their toys and they’ll respond joyfully.
By making learning fun at an early age, you stand a much better chance of your child responding well to learning and education in the future, when they attend school.
Learning through play will also set them up with some of the skills and knowledge they will need when starting school, which will make them feel more confident in the new environment.
As you can see, there are significant benefits to allowing your children to learn through play. From teaching them new skills to giving them the chance to let off steam, learning through play offers so much more than a paper-based worksheet.
Whilst it’s natural to associate learning with worksheets and books, it’s important to remember that allowing your children to play, experiment and explore is equally as important. It will go beyond simply equipping them with knowledge by allowing them to use their imagination, develop their motor skills and learn self-expression.
Written by Carly Garrett