Research shows that learning through play is an important part of a child’s development. Though ensuring your child has enough play time is a great benefit to families to allow their children to release some extra energy, a child begins to find out who they are through play, even during infancy. Even early in development, a child’s mind is expanding just by looking at their environment and taking in their surroundings. Here are top 3 benefits of learning through play;
Play Encourages Communication
Play allows children the opportunity to develop speech and language skills as well listening skills. Children talk and listen while they play.
Whether this be during solitary play which typically involves self talk and narration (e.g. “now my car is driving up the hill and then it goes down, wee, wee, wee”) or play with a companion, children communicate to add purpose to their play. The more vocabulary a child is exposed to on a day-to-day basis, the greater the variety of words a child will incorporate into play.
Play Improves Cognitive Development
Children who engage in pretend play tend to have more sophisticated levels of interaction with others. Bergen, D (2002) found that more and more evidence supports the connections between cognitive ability and high quality pretend play.
Moreover, if children are deprived of play, their long-term capabilities related to problem-solving, social skills and academic areas (e.g. literacy, math and science) could be lessened.
The complexity of these skills demonstrate that many areas of the brain are most likely involved.
Play Encourages Relationship Building
Play helps to promote the development of social skills. Children who play with their parents and peers learn how relationships work through their play experiences. As play becomes more important in a child’s life, an increase in the number and quality of friendships has been seen.
Many people don’t realise that social skills are a vital part of language development. Language is so much more than simply spoken words!