Psychological Effects of Play-Based Learning
Take a look around the room right now. As you are reading this, your kiddos could be yelling and screaming in the background, or they could very well be taking a nap, which praise the Lord, am I right?! I live for those moments some days! Whether your kids are out and about playing or taking a nap, you are hopefully seated somewhere nice and cozy ready to read about what playing does for your children's minds! So sit down, relax, and enjoy the read!
When you're watching your child play, how many of you can say that you look at the impact playing has on your child? 🙋🏻♀️ Maybe put that hand down if you're being honest! Play-based learning is all about children learning to make sense of the world around them. When they are in a natural environment of play, they can develop many skills. This includes learning to communicate better, creative problem solving, developing social and emotional skills, and fostering creativity and imagination. All of these skills have a different impact on the way your child will encounter life. This week, we will dive into the world of better language skills, so let's dig in!
So...language development and skills, huh? Let's take a trip down memory lane for a second and go back to the day out little ones said their first words. SO EXCITING RIGHT! Well...if you're in the same boat I am, my little one needs to do a bit better on the talking side of things (I get a little worried, but what mom doesn't?!). When children are learning to play together, the vocabulary will start to grow. This is why we built our spell-it-out puzzle. They learn communication skills in everything they do, whether it be verbal, non-verbal or hands-on activities. Think about the golden rule for JUST a sec: SHARING IS CARING! It's something we instill in our children from day one! We want them to grow up kind, loving, and caring! But let's be honest, sometimes kids just don't like to share. They want to keep those legos that make you want to scream trinity mother frances when you step on them, to themselves. But when they learn to effectively communicate, they can do a lot better when it comes to sharing.
Adults are also able to assist in communication by asking questions and encouraging conversation. In playing with your child, you engage with your children by stimulating their minds when you talk. In asking questions, you are making their mind think, you are looking for a response, and they are trying to form one. Sometimes it's more complicated than others, but that's what learning is for, right?! The more they try and talkback, the more they try to respond, the better they will get. You know what they say, practice makes perfect!
Let me ask you a question: If you were asking to do something that you were just about to do, does it make you want to do it even more, or way less? I'll give you my answer; it's definitely less than it is more. When I was younger, if I was about to unload the dishwasher or do some type of chore and was then asked to do it, I immediately didn't want to do it! When children are placed in an environment specifically for learning, and they are not choosing to do it independently, it can make it a little bit more difficult for them to want to have a desire to learn. Through communication, they are in an environment in which it comes more easily. They are more relaxed, which in turn opens up their minds to new learning techniques and experiences.
Playing has a more significant impact on your child's language development skills than you probably ever thought! So here is my encouragement to you! Let your child's imagination run freely, let them play with other children, do what you can to encourage conversation with them, and let them learn in a natural environment!