We’re all familiar with play but not everyone understands that it’s never “just” play. In fact, it’s learning. For young children, learning is not sitting at a desk for lessons, using flashcards or writing on worksheets. While there is value in that for older children, it isn’t the way young children learn. Read more about play below and download a free printable poster.
See all of my free printables here >> Free Printables from Share & Remember
Childhood is all about play, learning and growing. Play is spontaneous, child led and fun!
What Happens During Play
During play, children are making choices, experimenting and learning about their world.
While playing children learn to regulate their emotions and develop self control.
Types of Play
There are different types of play. Unoccupied play is when a child is free to move, think and image. It might not look like actual play but it’s a kind of play.
Children may play independently or engage in solidary play.
You may see children play side by side. They may be onlookers, watching play.
In associative play, children begin to play together but do not have the same goal of activity such as playing house.
With cooperative play, children begin to play together and we see teamwork.
Preparing to Play
We know play isn’t meaningless so we need to provide children with time to explore and discover.
They also need a safe space that’s rich with open ended materials to handle and manipulate.
Be nearby to supervise and answer questions. But don’t interrupt! Instead, observe. Listen to the language, the thoughts and ideas. Watch for new skills and opportunities to introduce concepts. Guide and redirect.
During play, children are learning social emotional skills, literacy, math, scientific reasoning, vocabulary and physical skills.
I’m sure you agree, it’s never just play!
I’m pleased to share this free printable poster. It looks amazing printed and laminated on the wall in my child care. Enjoy!
Read this article from NAEYC: 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play