As adults we go to our jobs to work. We create, problem solve, and understand aspects of our jobs on a daily basis. This is true for a child as well. Their play time is equivalent to our work.
Play is where a child makes sense of their world, practices skills, develops self-esteem, and it is also helps them figure out how things fit into their lives. Play teaches your child how to be a learner. Play is enjoyed by your child but it is also their “work.”
Learning through play is much more than learning skills like letters, numbers and colors. It’s the best place for your child to learn problem solving, social skills, as well as, critical thinking skills. These skills are as important as academic skills. Listed below are the skills that your child develops through play!
Problem solving Social interaction
Communication Self- reliance
Negotiation Self- confidence
Empathy Following rules
Self-Expression Goal setting
Some days it’s hard to find unstructured, uninterrupted playtime, but it is important to expose your child to this type of play on a daily basis both individually and with groups.
Below is a list of suggested books to read on the topic of play both online and offline.
Play: The Pathway from Theory to Practice by Sandra Heidemann and Deborah Hewitt
The Power of Play by David Eikind Ph.D.
Purposeful Play by Kristine Mraz
Play: The Foundation of Children’s Learning by Lisa Murphy
Serious Fun: How Guided Play Extends Children Learning by Marie L. Masterson
Play and Learn Toddler Activities by Angels Thayer
Invitations to Play: Using Play to Build Literacy Skills in Young Learners by Anne Burke
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