We all know that it’s important for our children to learn throughout their developmental years, but what are the best ways to encourage and support your children’s growth? Every parent wants to provide the best opportunities for their child, so it’s important to understand what play-based learning is and how it can assist your child to healthily develop new skills and abilities.
Play-based learning is understood to be learning and developing through play and playful activities. When children play, their brain develops in fascinating and rapid ways.
Play encourages children to explore, negotiate, create and identify. Subsequently, it shapes, stimulates and grows the structural design of the brain. Ultimately, children who engage in play are likely to have better developed memory skills, language skills and motor skills.
If you don’t know where to begin with play-based learning, you can start by adding some outdoor activity time into your child’s daily routine. Outdoor environments can often promote creativity and exploration, so it’s important to include outdoor playtime in addition to indoor playtime.
Where possible, involve and encourage opportunities for creative expression, music and movement as your child plays. You might like to play with your child sometimes and allow them to play alone or with other children other times.
Here are just a few examples of the way children can learn through play:
- By making plans and then carrying them out.
- By applying concepts such as size, shape and gravity to problem solving.
- By using imagination to resolve things through trial and error.
- By interacting and collaborating with other children socially.
- By developing self-esteem through achieving self-set goals.
- By developing creativity when creating game rules and artwork.
You can add more meaning into your child’s playtime by:
- Allowing them to make decisions about what they want to play with.
- Letting them play spontaneously, without putting rules or a script on them.
- Providing them with choices and then letting them choose how to play.
- Removing risk (including emotional risk) so they can experiment.
- Allocated unhurried and uninterrupted time towards playing and developing.
Educational toys and resources are also useful assets when trying to incorporate play-based learning into your children’s daily routines. Parents and educators should seek out educational resources that reflect the child’s age, interests, strengths and culture to ensure optimal engagement.
At Creative Play Resources, we stock a wide range of toys that encourage children to learn through play. Our educational toys for kids, educational toys for toddlers, and baby educational toys all encourage children to play in a way that helps them to grow and develop – by improving their motor skills, by developing their creativity, boosting their numeracy and literary, and so much more.
If you would like to encourage your child to learn through play, browse our online store for dot markers, Little Brian paint sticks, safety scissors, and other wooden educational toys. Children are highly curious about the world and are natural learners – with playful and educational tools on hand, they can achieve anything!