Remember when you were a kid and you always had to do your homework before you could play?
For a very long time, we were shown and told that the only way to learn was by sitting in a room with an all knowing adult at the front.
Play, it turns out, isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity. It is a vital part of the learning process.
Play gives children the ability to practice scenarios that might happen in life. It builds their background knowledge of different people, places, activities and lifestyles.
When children play they learn how to read body language and facial expressions, they learn social cues and how to understand and work with their own emotions. Children who speak different languages benefit from interactive play as it creates context for spoken language.
Fantasy play grows abstract thinking and self regulation.
Constructive play fosters problem solving, deepening understanding of the topic, connecting and questioning.
Games with rules enhance logic, strategy, planning as well as competition and resilience.
Horseplay fosters self regulation and emotional management.
Even as adults – our play might look different than our children’s but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help us to learn. Being a marathon runner gave me so many lessons in perseverance and hard work!
Engaged and playful learners become engaged and playful people of the world.
What is your favorite way to play with your child?