How The ‘Play to Learn’ Method Can Help Your Child

You have no doubt heard the term, play to learn or learning through playing. But this is not something that a child invented so parents would let them play more! Studies have been shown that up until the age of 8 and especially kindergarten age, children learn far more through playing that we realize. Today we are looking at why and how playtime is helping your child develop and learn.

Playtime Helps Develop Their Imagination

From about the age of two, children learn to use their imagination to fulfill their needs. For example, what we see as a simple bit of wood, to them can be used for a million different things. The sofa can be turned into a mountain for them to climb, and the bathtub becomes an ocean! No matter what they are pretending to be or play with. Using their imagination when they play, teaches them to be creative and to think outside the box. A healthy imagination is a very good thing to have, and it is developed during these early years of play.

Social Skills Are Taught Through Playtime

Social skills are one of the most important things a person can have. Your child is going to build foundations for their social skills in those early days in a sandpit, or while they are waiting for their turn on the swings. Kids learn how to share, how to be assertive, and they learn how to communicate with other kids to make stories, reach a goal and just get stuff done. Watching kids interact with each other is one of the most fascinating things in the world. You can see them figuring out that they need to talk to certain kids a certain way, and these are skills that they will certainly use all through their school years.

Playtime Greatly Helps A Child’s Physical Development

This one here can not be understated, but there are many different ways that physical playtime is going to help your child. They learn to fine-tune their motor skills by doing things like skipping and running which helps their balance. Games like basketball and baseball will really help their hand-eye coordination and tune up the smaller fine movements that we all take for granted. When kids are running around on the playground, playing tag with their friends or taking part in an actual sport like basketball. They are developing their motor skills all the time such as running, catching and so on. They will learn the boundaries of their bodies. So while it may just look like kids running around having fun, which they will be having of course. They are also working their muscles and of course getting some exercise.

Playtime Is The Foundation For Literacy

You may be thinking this is a bit of a stretch, but it is actually true. It is through playing that a child first starts to figure out they can make their own stories with their own words. They will also take an interest in the ways that words are written and how different words sound as well so they can better create their own games and worlds for them to play in. They will learn all kinds of new words when talking with other kids while they are playing. Yes, something that most parents will not be too thrilled about, but this communicating with other kids is really going to expand their vocabulary significantly.

Children Can Learn To Follow Rules Through Playtime

Getting a child to follow the rules can be very, very tough. This is because, during playtime, kids may think that rules do not matter as they are out of the classroom, so they can just run around and have fun that way. However, when they actually want to play games or even a sport, they will have to learn that these games have rules and that following the rules is a part of the game. This is a fantastic way to teach children how to follow the rules. So when they are in a classroom setting, they can be told that following the class rules is the same as following the rules for baseball or the game of tag they were playing at lunch. Kids do not always like rules, but getting them to understand that they are there for a reason, and they need to follow is best done at this age through play.

Playtime Lets Children Blow Off Steam

You may be wondering just how this relates to the learning, but it ties into what we were talking about in regards to rules. When your child is in kindergarten or even the early grades in school. It can be quite the task for them to sit, pay attention, and do as they are told. Playtime at recess or lunch allows a child to really blow off some steam and gets it out of their system so they can be more focused and willing to learn when they are back in the classroom.

Problem Solving Skills Are Developed Through Play

You will be amazed at how even as young as two, children will start to develop their problem-solving skills, and these are first done through play. How can this Ninja Turtle fit through the door? How can I get this ball into that box? How am I going to be able to hide from my friend in hide and seek? These are all scenarios that are typical of things a child will go through, and they all require them to think about what they are going to do, work out how to solve a problem. So while playtime is not what you would class as a problem. Your child’s mind will be thinking all the time about how they are going to do this, how can they get that and so on. Even when playtime is fun, they are still thinking and working things out, especially if they are playing a game. These problem-solving skills can then be used in their daily lives and when they start school too.

Playtime Is Fun!

Above all else, playtime is fun and fun is what kids should be having. When they reach kindergarten, they start to see that life is not all fun and games. This will make them cherish their playtime more and also it is going to help them learn that there is a time for playing and a time for learning in school!

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