For young children, playtime is more than just a fun way to pass time — it’s also an incredibly important part of early childhood education. Whether at preschool, day care, or home, interacting with the world through free play will expand your little one’s horizons. Here’s what every parent should know about how games and activities foster learning.
Why Play Is a Key Part of Early Childhood Education
How Play-Based Teaching Differs From Direct Learning
Using playtime as a mode of instruction is different from traditional models of direct learning. With the direct learning method, children are expected to sit and listen to their teacher or watch demonstrations. Play-based learning, on the other hand, teaches children through hands-on interactions, harnessing their natural energy and intellectual curiosity.
Why Play Is Effective for Early Childhood Education
When children follow their interests, they touch on critical concepts without even knowing it. Whether your little one is building a tower out of blocks with a friend or creating a beautiful finger painting, they’re engaged, actively processing information, and learning to interact socially. Little minds that are allowed the freedom that play provides are less likely to feel bored. In addition, concepts may be easier to understand when they’re based on real scenarios rather than on abstractions. Instructors and care providers provide subtle structure and direction, such as interjecting questions to provoke thought.
How Play Benefits Children
Aside from being a relatively intuitive learning process, play offers many other benefits. Imaginative make-believe and exploration serve important roles in brain health, aiding with everything from executive function to solving problems. Group games and tasks promote proper socialization and key skills for little ones, such as listening, sharing, conflict resolution, and sticking up for themselves. Many play-based activities, whether indoors or out, also enhance fine motor skills and provide the exercise children need to stay healthy and focused.
The educators at Lucky Lane Nursery School in Creve Coeur, MO, understand the importance of play in early childhood education. Situated on a four-acre campus that offers plenty of opportunities for safe outdoor play, this school takes advantage of the natural world to spark learning. The caring and friendly staff believes in fostering creativity, igniting imaginations, and building self-confidence: in short, everything children need to grow up happy, healthy, and smart. Learn more about their caring and qualified staff online. Give them a call today at (314) 434-4462 to inquire about enrollment.