|Play-based learning is defined as a technique where a parent is using simple unstructured play to teach their child. / Photo by: espies via Shutterstock|
Every parent does their best to be their child's first teacher before they send them a school. But the mere thought of having to plan out learning activities every day can be stressful and consuming. Fortunately, doing so doesn't have to be overwhelming nor does it require parents to be too creative with their teaching materials.
Children will be able to learn and enhance their cognitive skills, learn new words, and even improve their, social, physical, and literacy abilities by means of a simple unstructured play, according to parenting website whatmomslove.com. This is why it is important to know the "learning through play" technique where kids can learn, explore, test, and solve problems just by doing what they do best.
Benefits of Learning Through Play
Studies show that this method of learning is a vital part of a child's development. Children start to recognize who they are by playing, even during the infancy stage. A child's mind is developing as they look and recognize their surroundings even in the early stages of their development. According to Educational Playcare, making sure that they have enough time play is very beneficial to families as they let their children release their extra energy.
Moreover, playing and using educational toys can help children learn and improve various skills that they need later in life. This includes:
Problem-solving by means of learning cause and effect
Getting along with other people through compromise, solving a conflict, and sharing
Improving fine and gross motor skills
Tending their creativity and imagination
Discovering and developing their independence and confidence
As early as a month old, children can begin to benefit from educational toys that can help stimulate their senses. Toys such as mobiles, soothers, and play gyms for babies are great for children since these tools can help them concentrate on a sensory play by means of sound, sight, and touch.
Portable and interactive toys can help continue to stimulate visual and hearing senses with their features such as flashing lights and various sounds. Problem-solving toys like blocks or stackers can help the child learn they through conflicts, as well as improve their understanding of cause and effect. Being able to solve them can help build up a child's confidence once they learn how to operate and play with the toy by means of trial and error.
Introduction of walkers as their child starts to become more mobile can help them learn about coordination and balance. Teaching them how to count can also be introduced as the child learns how to walk by counting the steps they take.
Pointers for Teaching Using Play-Based Learning
Whatmomslove.com and toy designer, BKids, collaborated to come up with tips that can help parents incorporate play-based learning for their child in the comfort of their own homes.
Get rid of distractions
Tablets, television, and mobile phones can cause unnecessary distractions that can hinder learning. Turning them off can eliminate the possibility of kids paying attention to those devices. It is a basic tip albeit an important one since parents want their child to focus on being creative and use their imagination as they explore their environment.
|Parents should get rid of distractions like tablet so that they'll be able to focus on learning. / Photo by: Romrodphoto via Shutterstock|
Follow their lead
The greatest learning experiences can come from a parent's interaction with their child as they play together. When engaging them, parents should allow their child to take the lead—even if does seem tempting to take control. Letting the child direct the flow of the playtime provides room for greater exploration, independence, and casual learning.
Allow room for mistakes
Letting the child fail every now and then can help them learn from their mistakes. For younger children, this can be as simple as allowing to seat themselves on high spaces or let them use a walker as they try to walk on their own.
Parents should sustain the energetic and positive atmosphere as they and their child engage in play. Giving compliments, words of encouragement, or hugging and giving a high five can help boost a child's confidence. It also encourages them to continue playing as well as learning.
Give them space
As much as parents want to look over their child as they play, it is important to allow them some space and opportunity to play, learn, and explore independently. This depends on the age of the child. The general advice for parents of young infants is staying back a couple of feet from where the child is playing to give them more freedom to make their own choices.
This should be done when they are at their most creative where the child's imagination is at work, building their overall self-esteem as they realize the things they can accomplish by themselves.
Keep the learning going
The end of playtime does not mean it's the end of learning as well. Teaching can be in the form of counting the stairs everytime the child and parent go up and down or singing the alphabet during bath time.