How to support your child’s learning through play
Many things changed in the last thirty years. We are constantly talking about the way technology changed, about how the fashion trends became more open-minded, about how much the music and the films changed. But we never talk about education. When you think about it and when you try to make a comparison between the education systems thirty years ago and today you will definitely see a difference, perhaps the biggest one even. All the classes nowadays support the child’s learning in a more playful way, through different games and activities, thus making them love the actual subject that they are learning. So, it is safe to say that learning through play and games is the right approach nowadays. How can you, as a parent, support that and why is that even so important?
Playing and cognitive development
Children have always been very good at absorbing different pieces of information, only when they want to. This is why playing plays an important part here – once they find something interesting, they are more likely to absorb it faster and thus learn it. They like seeing everything as an adventure, and it is always more interesting to learn something through play than by sitting and reading about it or trying to solve different exercises that they do not find interesting. Their focus is the most important factor here – try to keep their attention and you have won. Choose a boring approach, they will lose focus and you did practically nothing.
Make learning fun
What is very important is that you do not present learning to your kid as a chore or as something that they have to do. This will only backfire and can affect their future education as well. The best way to make this happen is by creating a space in your house where your children will be free to do whatever they want while playing with some of the best educational toys that you gave them. They will not know the real purpose of those toys, of course, but they will definitely help you and your child in the long run. 3D pens are, for example, incredibly interesting and can help your child learn how to write, draw or work on their graphomotor skills.
Organise play dates
In order to get the best of both worlds, it would be very advisable to organise play dates with a friend of your child, and thus make them engage in learning through play together. This is an amazing way for your child to work on his or her social skills but also learn together with their friend. This might also be a very important step for the future education of your child, especially nowadays when a big percentage of the grades of high schoolers and students of Universities depend on projects where teamwork is very important. Teaching your child to be a member of a team and appreciate and understand teamwork is equally important.
However, bear in mind that it is not only important to give them the tools to play and let them do whatever they want. They are still very young and someone needs to guide them through the actual play. When they are at school or at kindergarten, they will have the teacher who will teach them how to actually play – a thing called guided play. This can be also played in the way that the child dictates and directs the game, but the teacher (or in your case the parent) is there as a co-player, giving his/her own insights and guiding the play. Your own involvement in this game will boost the motivation of your child and they will be more interested in playing (and thus learning) with you.
Underestimating your child’s needs and letting them play all they want without any guided play might seem easier for you, but it is definitely not good for the child. Even though they are supposed to play how they want most of the time, make sure that their learning games are guided and that you are there to monitor them and by doing so, help them for their future education.