Play is particularly important for the growth of young children. It sets the foundation for development in terms of emotional intelligence, social interaction skills, creativity, physical development, and intellectual reasoning. It also helps with formal learning later in childhood and enables children to develop their self-worth.
Before we proceed ahead with which play activities are best suited for helping kids to learn, let’s first address what is children’s play.
What is Children’s Play?
- Play can be broken down into five core elements. It must:
- Be enjoyable and fun
- Have no goals
- Include active engagement
- Be voluntary and spontaneous
- Include make-believe element
Let us now look at some activities or invitations to play that can help kids learn and grow into blossoming adult life.
A playground offers an excellent opportunity to set the foundations for physical development, boosting self-confidence, improving communication skills, and learning more about the world. Jumping, running, pushing, and playing with playground equipment teaches kids how things work. It also helps them build their muscles, agility, and coordination. When playing with other kids, the play becomes more about sharing, teamwork, empathy, and developing social skills.
2) Dress-Up and Pretend Play
By immersing themselves in pretend play, kids start to make sense of the world and it helps spark interest in adult roles. It sets the foundation of what they aspire to be when they grow up. It also gives them a perspective of being in someone else’s shoes and helps them with emotional development. Let your kids loose with a bunch of props and dressing material such a superhero costume, pilot’s uniform, doctor’s outfit, and allow their imagination to run wild.
3) Play Dough and Lego
Games like Play Dough and Lego have immense potential when it comes to learning. They help strengthen fingers, develop motor skills, and teach hand-eye coordination. They also help boost imagination and make room for creativity and deep-thinking.
4) Nature Play
Nature play involves taking your kids for camping, hikes, and forest trips. It can even includesomething as simple as taking them to the nearest park. Being in nature is not only healthy, but it also teaches children about biology and to be respectful of their environment. Nature play can lay a superb foundation in helping your kids grow into responsible and inquisitive adults.
5) Cooking and Pretend-Cooking
Learning how to cook as well as pretend cooking and serving can be a establish a fun play scenario for kids. Cooking itself includes various learning elements such as understanding how to follow a process, grasping mathematical concepts, and adhering to safety measures. Pretend cooking and serving also teach social interaction, patience, and allows them to understand other’s needs.
6) Music, Dancing, and Singing
Music and singing help in learning language and sets the basis to develop literacy skills. They also help establish mathematical concepts such as counting. What’s more, kids can start developing rhythm and improve their alertness and listening skills. Dancing can help kids develop flexibility, strength, and coordination. As parents, you can allow them to choose their favorite songs to get them moving.
We hope you have found some noteworthy insights from this article. As parents, you can start by providing time, space, and play materials to your little ones. Remember, the aim here is to help them develop naturally and make learning fun and exciting. All of which can be achieved through play.