5 Ways Play Helps Your Child Learn and Have Fun in Early Years
Playing is a lot of fun for children – we all know that. Whether it’s playing peek-a-boo with their friends, building blocks alone, or getting wet in the rain with their siblings, it’s definitely the one thing they would want to do most of the time.
Play, however, is more than just a fun activity that children love so much.
While often overlooked, it can be a powerful tool for nurturing your child’s ability to think, communicate, and solve problems. Just like reading books or watching educational videos, play is equally important in their healthy development.
Think of it this way: play serves like a children’s work. When they’re out there having fun with their friends, they get the chance to explore the world around them, discover how it works, and expand their imaginations.
How Does Play Support a Child’s Early Development?
Let’s delve a bit more into the key importance of play in early childhood and how it affects the development of your children.
Supports early brain development
Play is vital for children’s early brain development. Through play they’re able to explore and interact with their environment at an early age and make sense of a lot of new information.
These experiences help expand their brain network and understanding of things, laying the groundwork for their learning journey later on.
Boosts problem-solving and creative thinking
Playing is a great outlet for creativity and experimentation for young children. Through activities like role play and make-believe games, they can stretch their imaginations without limits and exercise their decision-making skills.
Some games like simple puzzles and stacking blocks also help your children develop their creativity and understand the process of problem-solving at a young age.
Builds communication and social skills
Early childhood games play an important role in building a child’s communication abilities. Basically, without play, children won’t be able to learn how to interact with others. And it could stretch into their adulthood.
Letting your children play freely in their early years will allow them to practice the language skills they’ve learned at home.
As they play and interact regularly with their friends, they’ll be able to discover new words and expand their vocabulary.
Play also provides the perfect opportunity for them to learn how to listen, observe and recognise non-verbal clues.
Fosters emotional intelligence
When children play with others, they learn how to control and express emotions and at the same time, understand and interpret the emotions of others.
What’s more, children are taught how to show empathy and care for others, and regulate emotions, especially in difficult situations.
A team of experts from New Zealand conducted a research study to examine whether or not pretend play helps children develop better emotional regulation.
The participating children were evaluated through pretend play that’s designed to generate a high level of stress. Interestingly, it was discovered that children who engaged in more pretend play were better at controlling their emotions and handling conflicts.
Improves physical and motor skills
Play helps each child’s emotional development and also helps improve their overall physical health. Active physical play, like running, dancing, and swimming, helps children build and maintain body strength, endurance, and coordination.
Taking part in play activities in their early years also helps children to improve their motor skills (or the basic movements they need every day) like eating with a spoon and fork, drawing, writing, and tying their shoelaces.
What Can You Do as a Parent?
Play is vital in a child’s development. And as a parent, one of the best things you can do is to allow your child to play and explore the world and build essential skills they’ll need to succeed.
When you let your children play, you must show that you have trust and support for them.
Allow them to play whatever they want and be in control of the rules of the games, as long as they’re safe.
When facing a problem, you can always help them find solutions, but you should not do everything for them. Let them think independently and learn how to resolve problems on their own.
Other times, you can also be engaged and be part of your child’s play.
Go outdoors and play with them, throw balls, take nature walks, or cycle around the neighbourhood. You can also play indoors, read a book, watch fun cartoons together, or join them in playing house; the options are endless.
When it’s time for your children to enter school, it’s also important to choose a school where they can participate in active play, but also learn at the same time.
Consider a child-centred learning environment where your child can learn naturally through imaginative and playful ways, like how we do at XCL World Academy (XWA).
A World of Discovery through Play-Based Learning at XWA
At XWA, we understand the value of play in a child’s healthy development. We know that play can be the best teacher for children, and for this reason, our Early Years Programme (for preschool-aged children 3-6 years old) has been designed to provide the children in our care with a safe and engaging learning environment.
Here, they have the freedom to explore and be curious and practise their imagination and creativity, all while learning the most crucial social and emotional skills.
We ensure that your child beneﬁts from varied and well-directed early learning opportunities through participation in play-based activities like puzzles, building-blocks, role-play, water play, etc.
Play is weaved into all curricular activities from Mathematics to Swimming to help children gain essential knowledge and skills. These fun-ﬁlled experiences are conducted in new and vibrant environments, both indoors and outdoors.
To ensure the success of our learning programmes, our teachers work closely with students; listening to them, brainstorming fun ideas with them, and from there, designing custom activities to meet the unique needs and preferences of each child.
But that’s not all. Over the years, we’ve organised several fun events, such as sports day and swimming gala to foster teamwork, collaboration and sportsmanship among our students. These play events have allowed our students to practice and show everyone their abilities, socialise and interact with new friends, and build their self-confidence.
Is your precious little child ready for school? Contact us today to learn more about how our play-based programmes at XCL World Academy can support the early years development of your child. You can also book a campus tour to see our world-class facilities, Kindergarten building, playground and the early years heated swimming pool!