Practices such as play-based learning are an effective way to support your child’s learning and improve their cognitive development. The relationship between the two is evident, and the cognitive effects that play-based learning has on children has many parents wondering how they can stimulate the development of their children’s social and problem-solving skills. In this article, we are explaining the importance of play-based learning, the ways it affects cognitive development in kids, as well as what are some of the activities that will encourage the child’s learning and thinking.
How playing affects children’s cognitive development
Children learn best through play, especially children who have just started school. Children this age are able to absorb large quantities of information faster than the older children, and they see learning as an adventure. Discovering new things and learning how things work is exciting to them, and play is one of the main sources of learning at this stage. Even though the way school-age children are taught is more formal now that they are older, play still continues to be crucial for their cognitive development, as it helps them learn how to think, comprehend, socialize, verbalize their thoughts and express themselves. While playing with their peers is important, parents should also play with their kids and use each opportunity to check their knowledge or help them better understand something they learned at school. Not only is this beneficial for their cognitive development, but it also gives parents a chance to reconnect with their child, bringing them closer together and strengthening their bond.
Activities and play ideas that encourage learning in children
Because play-based learning plays a vital role in children’s learning and their cognitive development, it is important that parents incorporate a wide range of activities into their children’s daily schedules in order to encourage their thinking. School-age children love to put together puzzles – this activity activates their brain, engaging both brain hemispheres and enhancing their memory. Play is a great educational medium, which is why we are seeing a rise in the popularity of educational toys for kids – other than being a great source of entertainment, they are effective tools for stimulating excitement about learning and extending the child’s thinking. Another way for parents to support their child’s learning through play is by playing board games or trying their hand at sports. Screen time can also be an effective way for kids to learn, as long as they’re watching quality content that encourages thinking. It would be best for parents to try to find out what their child’s personal interests are and then base their approach on those facts.
Why is play an effective way of teaching kids
Children love to investigate and explore – they are fascinated by the world around them and all the different experiments, which is why they start to engage in different environments and try new experiences at this age. Playing is learning to them, only they don’t really see it as learning. Because kids don’t perceive their activities as boring or strenuous, they are able to stay focused for longer. Their activities are intrinsically motivated and flexible, giving them a chance for self-directed free play. When it comes to adults, however, if we consider learning to be strenuous, we’re less likely to focus on what we are learning. Playful experiences become learning experiences, and gaining knowledge doesn’t feel like a duty to kids which is why it’s easier for them to become completely immersed in whatever it is they’re doing.
There are a lot of things that parents can do to support their child’s cognitive development – from playing together with them to providing them with toys that encourage learning, a number of things can help encourage your child to think through play. Different children will develop at different paces, and these are just some general guidelines that are followed by many children.