“Children Learn as They Play, Most Importantly, in play Children Learn How to Learn!”
by O. Fred Donalson
We all know that the formative years in children are quite crucial. Growing up kids learn most through play and games. Children are excellent at absorbing everything they see, hear, and play. They learn by imitating their parents, mimicking teachers, and peers, and they pick up on anything that interests them — good and bad. So, recognizing how play can help children develop emotionally is something we all need to understand in order to better guide them in becoming respected, decent, and successful individual later in life.
Rather than structured teaching or formal teaching methods, educators in early childhood education and care services use a wide range of play-based experiences for children’s learning and development. They set up age-appropriate indoor and outdoor games that can be played safely and enjoyed by any child.
Kids learn self-regulation through social and directed play by following rules and paying attention while experiencing emotions such as anticipation or disappointment. Play also teaches children how to make and change the rules, as well as when to lead and when to follow.
While play cannot change the external realities of children’s life, playing can be a vehicle for children to explore and enjoy their differences and similarities, as well as to establish, if only for a short time, a more just world in which everyone is an equal and valuable participant. Children’s imaginations are limitless; especially when it comes to the many plays they are taught. And the debt we owe to imaginative play is tremendous.
When we focus on the social and emotional aspects of working together on a science, math, literacy activity, we create a balanced experience that helps the children in all aspects of development.
How Children Learn by Playing and The Importance of Play
Play is one of the most crucial components of a child’s growth. Peek-a-boo, patty-cake, and playing house teach children to think creatively and interact socially. They grow physically, discover a slew of emotional skills, and learn how to process the world through play. In a nutshell, play is critical to a child’s development as children have fun and learn through play.
Play also aids in the development of cognitive, physical, social, and emotional skills in children. Play is also crucial since it provides as a key foundation for learning, exploring, problem-solving, and creating a sense of self. It gives children the opportunity to imitate what they see and develop skills. It allows children to express their creativity and experiment, and it teaches them how to communicate and interact with others.
Additionally, play assists children in understanding and processing their emotions. Through play, children process their emotions and learn new concepts. When a child loses a game, for example, he or she learns how to deal with sadness, anger, and grief. Playing also promotes confidence and the development of one’s identity and self-esteem.
Play-based learning fosters the key skills, concepts, and attitudes required for a child’s long-term learning and well-being. You can help your child learn by sharing information about their interests and abilities with their educators so that they can plan play experiences for your child based on their interests and abilities.
Interactive Social-Emotional Learning Games
Social-emotional learning games are an excellent approach for children to learn about their emotions and relationships. It’s critical to promote emotional growth and awareness in a way that youngsters will connect with and enjoy. Children require a safe environment in which to express their feelings and experiences. This will assist them in developing into well-rounded individuals with sound mental health.
Some of the games that are fun and entertaining, relatable to kids are;
- Musical Chairs – Musical chairs are a popular group activity among children. This can be turned into a social-emotional learning game.
- What exactly am I? – It’s simple to play this enjoyable classroom game with a social-emotional twist.
- Don’t Break the Ice – Using a game that kids are already familiar with is a terrific way to get them talking about their feelings.
Therefore, childhood development during the early years is crucial to how a person develops later on in life. The events and surroundings of a person’s upbringing may be linked back to their actions, behaviors, and ideas. Parents play an important role in their children’s development as well. They are positively contributing to their kid’s development if they are involved and offer a supportive and rich environment for their child, which will help them later in life. The human brain is most impressionable during the first few years of life. This is why these years are so important, since they may have an influence on a person’s life long after they reach maturity. Unhealthy eating habits and unfavorable social interactions, such as being secluded as a youngster, can cause a child’s development to be delayed.
Parents, on the other hand, can do a variety of things to ensure their child’s successful developmental process including developing a positive bond with their child, ensuring that their child is surrounded with encouraging family and friends, and attending child development support groups if required. Because children truly are the future of any society, it is essential that each community acknowledges the necessary steps that must be taken to ensure that each and every child has the opportunity to develop properly. Parents should strongly consider early childhood development programs because they are extremely effective as these children achieve better academic outcomes, have more stable social and emotional behavior, and build improved relationships with their parents.
Ultimately, early childhood development is a crucial issue that needs to be addressed. Every parent must recognize and comprehend the significance of their child’s early years. They should not be afraid to conduct research or seek assistance on this subject if necessary.