Play-Based Learning

Picture of Written by: Paige Neely

Written by: Paige Neely

Originally written by Shyanne Kollefrath-Dangler on Paige’s Tutoring

Our children grow up faster than we ever thought was possible. My daughter is 2, and the thought of having her sit at a desk and participate in a regular classroom setting seems impossible in my mind. She is an extremely active 2 year old and doesn’t sit still well. While I know she has just a few more years before she attends school, so I began to research various methods of teaching younger children. One of the methods I came across is known as “play based learning” and it’s exactly how it sounds.

According to the University of New Hampshire, play based learning provides many benefits including:

Cognitive Development

When children are given the reins they start to grow their abilities to think on their own. This is one of the many skills that is very important for parents to help their children learn so they can be independent. It may also be one of the scariest things for new parents, but fear not, we have all built these skills at our own young ages. Research shows that developmentally appropriate play with adults and other children provides opportunities to build the skills that lead to executive function and brain development.

Socio-emotional Development

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire say that play helps children build the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships with parents, caregivers, and other children that they need in order to thrive. Try offering a baby doll to your child and let them take care of it the way they want to be taken care of.

Confidence in Learning and Problem-Solving

Play-based learning really helps children build confidence in doing things on their own. Once they feel like they have the freedom to play and explore, they will learn how to solve problems even as simple as breaking problems down into smaller ones or learning how to self-soothe.

Creativity & Language

The Pillars Christian Learning Center talks about how play-based learning is important in building children’s understanding and relationships with creativity, and language. Being able to control the narrative of play, children are able to practice sounds, words, and even letters and colors more creatively. This helps them build their mental maps around languages they’re already learning, and keep their creativity productive.

Physical Development

Play-based learning serves as a vehicle for children to develop new skills while also transferring knowledge and skills across content areas through natural, authentic, and meaningful use and integration according to the University of New Hampshire. During play, children tune their motor skills reaching for toys or learning how different toys work. They may even take some of their first steps or try words when interacting with favorite toys.

Play-based learning provides a different approach that can be especially appealing to high energy, hyperactive children. Play-based learning helps children learn and grow in other ways than staring at a board or screen. Overall, it helps to build a stronger set of foundation skills for more children and can be done at home.

If you need help getting started or learning how to add play-based learning to your schedule, our team may have some answers for you. Call, text or email us any time 480-399-8895 [email protected] and we’ll help your children at any age learn to love learning.

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