F is for Friendship:
One of the most valuable things children learn though play, especially in the preschool years, is how to socialize with their peers and adults. By playing games, pretend, or with blocks, children are learning to share, take turns, negotiate, and settle disagreements. Through this type of play with peers, children are learning what is acceptable and what is not in society.
G is for Games
School age children naturally gravitate to games with rules. They are very serious about “rules” and are quick to point out any “cheaters”. Games with rules are so appealing to children this age because they are very interested in social interaction. Games with rules teach children turn taking, cooperation, and sharing. Games with rules are so important to development because it teaches children that in society many people have to work together and follow certain rules (laws) for things to run smoothly. Games with rules would include board and card games, sports, Red Rover, Simon Says, and Follow the Leader.
H is for Hands-on Learning
To be able to learn through play, children need to be allowed to be hands-on. They must be able to get down and dirty in dirt, mud, sand, sensory materials, and water. I know as adults we often cringe at the thought of this but what children learn when they are able to smash, smoosh, pour, scoop, stack, and cut is invaluable. When children play hands-on they are developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These types of activities promote intellectual development because they are able to explore, investigate, experiment and make conclusions about their surroundings. Hands-on activities also allow for children to learn about mathematical concepts such as counting and measurements. Most hands-on activities also promote creative development- children are allowed to experiment and express their creativity. Most hands-on activities should be open-ended, and should often allow children the ability to think outside-the-box, problem solve, and enjoy the process. Hands-on learning activities also promote language development by learning new vocabulary words and communicating about the activity with their parent, peer, or sibling.
I is for Intellectual Development
Through play, children are building their intellectual development. Through play, children learn spatial skills, mathematical skills, social and language skills. Through play, children learn about mathematical concepts such as counting, measurement, sorting, grouping and classification. When children play they are building fine motor skills which makes future writing possible. Through play, children are building vocabulary and comprehension skills. Through play, children are able to question, hypothesize, experiment, and make conclusions about their world. This type of learning is crucial for further academic learning and children learn it through play. Blocks are great for mathematical learning. Pretend play helps build vocabulary and allow children to learn how to problem solve. Playing with sensory materials like a sensory bin, water play, or playdough allow children learn to experiment, explore, develop mathematical skills and more!
J is for Jumping
Physical play is essential for proper physical development. Through physical play such as running, jumping, climbing, swinging, and throwing a ball, children are building their gross motor skill by strengthening their arms and legs. Physical play also helps children emotionally and socially. Physical play can be a healthy way for children to cope with stress. Many of the activities involved in physical activity are social which helps children learn social rules and build pro-social behaviors. Try to facilitate some physical activity for your child each day. If the weather is bad outside, consider an indoor OBSTACLE COURSE or a dance party.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for letters K-O of the ABC’s of Learning Through Play. I will be adding each post HERE as they are posted.
Be sure to click on the button below to check out the landing site for the whole “ABC’s of…” series!
For more Learning Through Play ideas check out these wonderful bloggers’ “ABC’s of….”
- Baking with Kids from Life at the Zoo
- Bath Activities for Kids from Bath Activities for Kids
- Discovery Bottles from Teach Preschool
- Farming for Children from Glittering Muffins
- Fitness for Kids from 3 Dinosaurs
- Imaginative Play from Train up a Child
- Kids Activities from Growing a Jeweled Rose
- Learning Through Play from Love Play & Learn
- Learning Toys & Manipulatives from This Reading Mama
- Movement Activities for Young Kids from AngeliqueFelix.com
- Play Dough from The Imagination Tree
- Playing with Light from Graham and Parker
- Preschool Play from Its Our Long Story
- Sensory Bins from Royal Baloo
- Sensory Play from Creative Play House
- Toddler Activities from Toddler Approved
- Winter Outdoor Play from Pleasantest Thing