The most important way in which children learn is through play. Formal learning is supported by it later in childhood, but it also helps the child develop self-esteem. Play is considered to be so fundamental to a child's well-being that it is enshrined by the UN as a universal right for children. As well as strengthening concentration skills, it underpins everything from learning social norms and social interactions to the beginnings of scientific thinking.
Play is especially important for young children. During preschool and the reception years, children learn through the EYFS National Curriculum, which is based primarily on play. It is the foundation of childhood development in terms of language, emotional intelligence and regulation, creativity, and intellectual reasoning.
Play can be divided into five elements:
• Be fun and enjoyable • Have no set goals • Be spontaneous and voluntary • Involve active engagement • Involve an element of make-believe
To help children learn through play, here are our top 7 activities:
Water Play: can take place indoors and outdoors, using a variety of tools, and practicing gross and fine motor skills.
Sand Play: Playing in the sand enhances scientific learning, self-confidence, and physical development. Digging, scooping, pouring, and sifting help children develop muscle strength and coordination while being exposed to how things work. When done with a little friend, it becomes an opportunity for teamwork, sharing, and social interaction.
Construction: Utilize a variety of materials, including blocks, play logs, tiles, train sets, marble runs, and plastic and wooden construction sets. It is a great way for children to practice pre-math skills, problem-solving, concentration, and patience.
Role Play: Give the children some dressing-up clothes and props, such as toy doctor's kits, and let them run with their imaginations. Children gain an understanding of the adult world, roles, and interests by dressing up, as well as boosting their social skills.
Drawing & Painting: By letting children explore their world with paints and drawing tools, they can experience it in a sensory way and develop self-expression, as well as pre-writing skills.
Imaginative Play: All play should be imaginative, but we're talking about the type of play that comes naturally to most children. If you give a small child nothing but a random assortment of objects, they will soon find themselves lost in make-believe. Children need time and space to play imaginatively. Through it, they acquire literacy skills and intellectual reasoning abilities, as well as imagination. Moreover, it increases their sense of self and self-esteem, as well as their ability to handle boredom and make sense of the world around them.
Sensory Play: The term sensory play refers to any play activity involving touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing. This can be done with a plate of jelly, ice, rice, or even small world tubs. Sensory play stimulates exploration and the building blocks of science and investigation.
With Wedge White Boards you can facilitate purposeful play for intended learning outcomes. In addition to helping children develop gross and fine motor skills, these white educational boards are ergonomically very easy to use, so they can be easily incorporated into many of the above activities.