Playing is fun. There is really no way to debate that. Kids will spend hours upon hours playing with their friends or with their toys, and there is never a dull moment. Sometimes, parents may fear that their kids are playing “too much” and should focus on more productive activities. However, as it turns out, studies have recently shown that more is happening beneath the surface while children play, and they are actually learning quite a bit! As kids move, interact, and play, they are taking in bits and pieces of their environment, and as their brain works it altogether, they are learning many different things.
With these studies being down, teachers are beginning to take notice. Many educators have recently started incorporating different types of play into their curriculum. What they are finding is that the play promotes a positive, enthusiastic attitude towards learning. It helps to reinforce into these young children that learning can actually be fun! While it is certainly true that the traditional classroom method works well for some children and certainly shouldn’t be abandoned, not every child successfully functions in this environment. Many times this is because they become bored or simply have a hard time following a look and listen lecture format. Playing to learn helps overcome these obstacles.
While it can be hard to pinpoint every benefit of play in the classroom, here is a list of a few of them:
- Encourage independence
- Build confidence
- Increase social skills
- Promote sharing and generosity
- Invoke a positive attitude
- Inclusive to all children
- Children become more engaged
- Teach children to function in groups
- Active play encourages health and dexterity
- Enhance creativity
With these benefits, it can be tough to argue against learning through play! With a good combination of play and traditional classroom teaching methods, a teacher can easily be able to establish a fun and productive classroom environment in which their children can learn.