Play-based learning has been proven to be beneficial to children and their growth. Young children learn best through hands-on experience and observation. One thing I learned over the years as a homeschool mom is that trying to force traditional schooling on young kids is a lot more work and a lot less effective than encouraging them to learn through play-based learning opportunities.
Tips for play-based learning
Play-based learning is fun and exciting for kids but can be a bit nerve-racking for parents that did not grow up with a lot of play-based learning. Many parents would love to give this method a try but fear that their child will not learn enough. With learning opportunities that encourage your child to learn and explore your child will grow and thrive in ways you never imagined. The benefits of play-based learning are so important for child development.
Provide quality toys
The most important tool for play-based learning is… TOYS! With the right toys, your child can learn and grow in ways you never imagined. Many parents look at the toys currently on the market and thing that toys offering bright lights and sounds are the best option for educational toys but the truth is the simpler toys that encourage your child’s imagination, allow for open-ended play, and offer extended value are the best option for play-based learning. Look for quality wooden toys, dress up playsets, baby dolls, musical instrument playsets are packed with educational opportunities.
Reduce screen time
One thing that can negatively affect your child’s Play-based learning is screen time. When children spend too much time on screens to keep them entertained. Reducing your child’s screen time or limiting it when you do introduce it if you haven’t yet is one of the best things you can do to encourage your child to learn and play in new ways.
One of the best places to learn os outside in nature. Many kids do not get enough time outside to learn and explore. Taking time to get outside with your kids so they can observe nature. Children learn through observation, exploring, and hands-on connections. Playing outside, going on nature hikes, and having the opportunity to use nature as toys for play opens up a whole world of learning for your child.
Take a closer look
Kids love to observe things. They are always taking in information at speeds we can barely comprehend as adults. Due to this children love tools that allow them to get a closer look at things. From bug observation kits to a quality magnifying glass, and a pair of binoculars there are plenty of tools you can find for relatively cheap that will allow your child to take a closer look at the world around them. A camera designed to hold up to abuse with a good macro setting is a great way for them to record the things they find.
Add in plenty of sensory play
Sensory play and activities are great for helping your child develop physically and emotionally. Blending sensory experiences into everyday learning is a great way to help your child understand the concepts they are learning. From making dinosaur fossils to forming letters with playdough sensory activities help your child learn while playing.
Use art to teach your child
One play-based learning opportunity often overlooked is art. Allowing your child to explore and experiment in invitations to create, themed process-based art to go along with books, and just taking time to color can all help your child learn. Art is a form of expression that helps your child develop and strengthen fine motor skills that lead to better writing as they age.
Allow your child to be bored
So often we as parents feel a responsibility to save our children from boredom. When they complain we feel the need to direct them to find something to do with their time. The truth is allowing your child to get bored can be the best way to encourage them to learn and explore on their own. When your child gets bored they are likely to find something to play individually sparking their imagination and exploring the world in new ways.
Play with your child
Playing with your child helps you build connections with them that will last a lifetime. Playing with your child participating in games of house, tea party, and going on imaginary adventures helps your child develop valuable social skills, encourages imagination, and helps you build a stronger bond with your child. This quality time can be super simple and still provide all benefits.