Play: The Engine of Development [Claire Adams] – Growing with Gratitude

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Play: The Engine of Development

Play: The Engine of Development [Claire Adams]

August 16, 2017

[GUEST POST BY CLAIRE ADAMS FROM highstylife.com]

About Claire Adams: Claire is a personal and professional development expert, and a proud aunt of 5 precious, little gems. Being an aunt of 5 with a strong desire to have her own little darlings one day, she has  been quite immersed in the whole child care story and is quite familiar with the most common challenges parents are facing daily.

ENJOY CLAIRE’S ARTICLE!!!

Play: The Engine of Development

Children should be encouraged to play and explore their surroundings as much as possible. Playing is quite beneficial for their education as well as their physical, social ad intellectual development. There are many arguments for both academic based and play based early childhood learning. Both have valid points, but in recent years the play based model is slowly gaining in popularity, due to the more relaxed and fun atmosphere it provides for the children.

In previous decades there has been a lot of discussion regarding the importance of play in child development, however both the social and the financial situation in different periods have made it a bit difficult to meet all the demands set by the new educational trends. It is important for everyone involved in a child’s life, from parents and relatives to teacher, to make an effort and focus on the child’s well-being and the importance of play during the entire process of early childhood development. You can see examples of good practice through fun learning activities at Enoggera child care centre where each child allowed to develop in an relaxed and playful environment, that inspires their creativity and social development.

In order to really understand the benefits of play and the reasons why it should be an integral part of your child’s educations, we have compiled a list of positive effects play has to offer. So let’s start!  

Image 1, source: pixabay.com


Learning How to Behave in Social Environments

Some experts claim that one of the greatest predictors of life-long success is the child’s ability to control  their impulses, and this type of self-control is learned in social environments which are made available through pay-based classrooms. Considering that in this learning model teacher acts more as moderator than a lecturer, children are provided with much more freedom to communicate thus learning the basic rules of social interaction, along with which types of behaviors are socially acceptable and which are not. Such environments can help children develop a moral compass early on, and can help prevent anti-social or ‘bad’ behaviour later on.

Image 2, source: pixabay.com

Freedom of Choice

Play can take various forms and this resulted in several different definitions of the term itself, however each definition contains similar concepts: freedom from constraint, enjoyable, and fun. In a play-based program, children are provided with a freedom to choose activities based on their individual interests. For example,  a child who is interested in dams and bridges may be allowed to spend a large portion of their school time at the sand and water table. Or if a child poses a musical talent, they are given freedom to express themselves in the musical corner. Teachers still incorporate academic skills, but in this case it is through theme based activities that children get to choose. This way they get to learn important lessons without feeling pressured.

Image 3, source: pixabay.com

Improved Motor Skill Development

One of the most well known facts in early education is that motor play contributes to healthy physical development in children. By including motor play activities we are able to ensure better overall health of a child in the years to come. Some of the most popular motor play activities include playing with playdough and making pasta necklaces, apart from improving hand dexterity, these types of activities also encourage creativity of expression. It is important to include physical activities that can be introduced through play and can benefit motor skill development. Games like Simon Says, or Day And Night are a great option for young children, and as they grow, both of these games can be made more complicated and demanding.

Both parents and teachers around the world are giving their best to provide their children and students with the best possible education. And every day they are bombarded with different studies as to what approaches are the best, which should not be considered, and so on. But the one thing that is important to keep in mind is the child and what kind of learning approach suits them best. Whether you opt for a play based approach, or not, introducing games into your child’s day, and encouraging playfulness is something essential in order to bring up a happy and healthy kid.

 

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Image 2 https://pixabay.com/en/child-tower-wooden-blocks-1864718/
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