Children of all ages love to play. Did you know that it actually fosters learning and can benefit your child in many ways? Both free play and guided play have many advantages throughout a child’s younger years to middle grades. Free play involves active engagement as well as make-believe, while guided play ensures that the child is progressing towards a specific learning goal.
Speech and language skills are incorporated during play, whether your child plays alone or with friends. When playing alone, a child may verbally express their actions or talk to themselves to create a sort of dialogue. When playing with others, children will talk amongst themselves to communicate ideas. If a disagreement arises, they will talk through the issue and find a solution. Guided play is a great setting for language learning, as children are exposed to additional vocabulary.
Children learn to work with others toward a shared goal during playtime. They learn to collaborate with others while negotiating, cooperating, and sharing, which is vital in building friendships and social skills. Children can even work through emotions through play by acting, storytelling, or art.
Critical thinking involves analyzing information and applying it in the context of the environment. This involves the part of the brain that manages attention, control, and flexibility. Numeracy and literacy skills are learned through playing with toys and books while children talk about their thoughts and what they are doing. Physical play helps to develop motor skills and assists in getting your child to work through stress. Large motor skills such as running and throwing are developed first, with fine motor skills like writing and coloring to follow.
When critical thinking and skill development come together, creativity blooms. Imaginative play is a huge expression of creativity and allows children to explore through scenarios, reactions, and conclusions. Children who play pretend tend to have more sophisticated levels of interaction with others and higher cognitive ability.
At Children’s World Learning Center, we want to encourage early development and build a sturdy base for a successful future. Our high-quality childcare program in Greenville, NC allows us to incorporate a variety of services including childcare, academy, therapy, after-school, and creative arts. This allows children to incorporate different types of knowledge in a safe and engaging environment. Contact us today to learn more about our program and enrollment.