Play and learning are not polar opposites and one does not have to always choose between them. In fact, we want to argue that blending the two produces a powerful synergy, one that drives the growth and development of a young mind. We seem to have forgotten that learning does not have to be tedious, time-consuming and boring. It is high time to bring fun, innovation, and flexibility back to the process of learning and teach kids in a way that they understand and appreciate.
The pristine essence of learning
At a first glance, play may seem mundane and simple. However, when you scratch beneath the surface you uncover the complexities and rules that govern such activity. For example, even the simplest of play entices kids to discover the physical world around them and get to know the basic laws of math and physics. Many have argued that figuring out things for yourself is the key to completely understand them (and accomplish constructive cognition).
Furthermore, bear in mind that play most often involves interaction and communication, which means that a child has a chance to acquire language and communication skills. The sport is an amazing stage that prepares children for the social environment, while games in which parents participate not only build stronger family bonds. There is a list of extreme sports that kids love, but parents are too afraid to let them taste that big adrenaline rush, which is mistake. They also make it more likely that the kid will have lasting friendships and cultivate social and emotional intelligence if the kid taste that adrenaline rush..
A level playing field
Who does not like pretend play adventures? Well, they are not only fun, as they encourage kids to come up with elaborate scenarios and innovative solutions. There is hardly a better way to ignite the imagination. A few arranged chairs quickly become an airplane, while a few pieces of cutlery create an instant restaurant setting. And due to interactive nature of games, children engaged in them tend to have more sophisticated interactions with others.
Having an imaginary companion also does the trick and poses another method to broaden the vocabulary and foster creativity. Scientists have also identified a connection between higher cognitive abilities and pretend play. This is true for other forms of play as well, in particular the ones that require them to sort, measure, compare, and build. Even a solitary play brings some benefits as it spurs self-talk, problem-solving, and narration.
Therefore, children who are deprived of play struggle to develop their intellectual and social capabilities. As a result, they exhibit poor problem-solving skills and cannot seem to overcome cognitive biases. This has a negative impact on academic success, especially in the areas like math, science, and literacy. This reminds us that the learning process is not something that happens to you: It must be something that you actually do.
Beyond the limits of traditional learning
It is of the utmost importance to realize that a rigid, teacher-led instruction most often fails to bear fruit. Many studies have found that this kind of approach does not resonate with kids. It profoundly misunderstands how they learn, causing unnecessary stress, and potentially sours the desire to seek knowledge. Being told to sit and copy letters or listen does not achieve anything. A child should never be reduced to the passive consumer of information.
Many other educative methods are well intentioned, alas, they are also heavily misguided. There is a room for optimism, though, as many schools experiment with new learning techniques. Regardless of this, parents always play a vital role in child’s overall development. So, let them build blocks, draw, or play with dolls and teddy bears. Sow the seeds of future success and start sooner rather than later: Educative play can start virtually in the crib.
The school of life
Learning through play is learning at its finest as it affects the kids in a deep and meaningful way. So, do not deny them the utmost joy of discovery and the gift of imagination and autonomy. Refrain from micromanaging, take a step back, and observe what your child does. Open-ended and creative games bring forth a variety of benefits that traditional education cannot deliver. Therefore, give your child all the love, freedom, and attention it deserves and ensure that it has a head start in life.