Learning Through Play
Kids aren’t just playing; they are learning. Play is how kids develop their brains and make sense of the world. By following their curiosity and imagination kids learn while they are having fun. So consider the relationship between play and learning as you play with your child.
Babies tend to play on their own. They explore anything they can get their hands on. They entertain themselves by playing with their feet or putting their hands and other items in their mouth. The exact reason why we need to keep small objectives out of their reach. Babies don’t have the social skills or focus to play directly with others.
As a child enters the so-called Terrible Twos, they become interested in being with other children. Since they have not yet developed the social skills of sharing and taking turns, they tend to play side by side (parallel play) with separate toys or objects. Whether is a good or bad behavior, they learn from observing and mimicking each other during play.
As children reach school age, they have developed the social skills of sharing and taking turns. You will see them pretending such as playing cops and robbers or playing group games like hide-n-seek, red rover, duck-duck-goose, etc. This group play helps them improve social and cognitive skills as they play out scenarios, switch roles, and solve problems together.
Learning Through Play Activities
Sesame Street in Communities is a great resource for learning through play activities for you and your child. You can find age appropriate activities to help your child develop social skills, cognitive skills, creativity and imagination. Check out all of their activities at sesamestreetincommunities.org.
Learning through play is extremely important for development. You should set aside time for play, without any electronic devices, to help your child learn and expand their minds. If you observe any type of learning difficulties with your child, please discuss it with your pediatrician.