It’s a real fun to watch children playing. While watching them, you can’t help keep wondering about their endless capability of imagination and using it to learn about the surrounding world.
1. Meaningful Play
Schools based on the Montessori education encourage kids to learn through “meaningful play”.
According to educationists, Marcia L. Nell and Walter F. Drew, there are five characteristics of “meaningful play”:
It offers the child a chance to decide about what s/he wants to do
A child finds it fun and enjoyable
It progresses instinctively, rather than kids following a script
It is driven by inherent motivation about what the kid intends to do
It forms a safe environment where children can try new ideas
Meaningful play makes children actively participate in it. Thus, instead of taking a lesson passively kids take on roles along with their friends and respond to other kids as per the rules of play created by them.
Although “rules” may seem counterintuitive to the concept of free play, a system of mental rules is in fact one of the key features of play.
2. Kids Learn Through Play
Playing with toyslike the best ride on toys for toddlers from Step2 Direct is usually a full body activity for young kids that helps develop skills required later in life.
All activities like running, climbing, dancing and rolling help fine-tune motor skills and foster muscle development.
They also help kids build their mental and emotional health as kids form imaginative, elaborate worlds enriched with a system of rules that decide the terms of play.
Researchers have found that kids teach themselves to control their emotions and think before acting while playing.
3. It’s Important to Include Play in Studies
Play can help kids learn and grow. Maria Montessori encouraged educators to include play in the learning process.
When a play-based approach is taken by teachers combining various subjects, an educational experience greater than the totality of its parts is created.
Students develop language skills, learn critical thinking, increase their social and emotional awareness, and expand their range of knowledge – all this without even knowing how much they are learning.
4. Maximising Learning Through Play
By taking an activity-based approach in all subjects, learning can be maximised through play. Teachers can encourage kids to talk with each other on the topic she is making them read.
She can also ask kids their opinion about what they read and thus stimulate their sense of curiosity and imagination.
Students can also be encouraged to set a dramatic play and thus bring stories to life. With this, kids increase their capability to consider others’ perspectives, improve their social confidence and increase their attention towards literature.
5. Play is a Context for Learning for Children
Whatever kids learn, they practise and reinforce it during play in multiple areas. Play offers them a place and time for practising that a worksheet cannot give.
For example, while playing football with a budget-friendly kids soccer net at Step2 Direct, kids can learn the rules of motion, and concepts like force without realising that they are learning physics even before the topic is taught to them in classroom.
So, don’t underestimate play. Let your children play a lot and learn a lot.