Play-based learning is an essential element that contributes to a child’s early-stage development, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Research has shown that this type of educational practice helps improve a child’s use of language, as well as their critical thinking, problem-solving, and even refined motor skills.
Parents and guardians should aim to facilitate a safe space where play-based learning can take place, without necessarily guiding the child throughout the whole process. After all, learning through play is about them developing their own skills instead of following a set of rules that limits their way of thinking.
Here are four of my favorite ways to encourage your child to play – and learn – from home!
- Play along
When your child invites you into their world, make sure you play along! Don’t question their decisions or their creativity – this could discourage them from using their imagination in the future. Having you play along will increase their confidence in what they do and it’ll also help strengthen the connection between you.
- Provide them with the materials
Whether this means providing your children with access to paint, dough, building blocks, or simple household elements they can use to play, different textures and colors spark are helpful for sparking a child’s curiosity and pushing them to use their imagination. Although this type of play should be mostly child-led, you can participate by encouraging them to find different ways to make something new with what they’re given.
- Take it outside
Going outside opens up your child’s mind to a world of possibilities. For example, playing games outdoors – like catch, tag, hide n’ seek, etc. – gives them more physical room to develop important skills such as coordination. Additionally, by playing outside, children can also benefit from the fresh air and interact with a new environment that involves their senses by introducing them to new textures, new smells, and new sights.
- Connect with other parents & children
Giving your child the opportunity to connect with and play alongside other children their age is a wonderful way to watch them grow into themselves and develop social skills like cooperation, empathy, and kindness. It’s also a fantastic way to help them grow their imagination. When two children meet, their minds know no limit, and they can come up with new and exciting worlds that motivate them to keep thinking bigger and bigger.
How do you help and motivate your children when it comes to learning and playing together? Let me know in the comments 🌟