Kate’s Corner
Sep 23 2015

  Learning Through Play

Children love to play; games, chase, house, soccer.
Children play all the time.
Children are good at playing.
Children love to learn; rhymes, songs, how to ride a bike, how to read. Children are learning all the time.
Children are good at learning.

Learning and playing are good partners.  They are good for children.

Maximize this wonderful, natural partnership:
Play with your children indoors and out.  Play every day. Teach children every day.

Blocks teach language, large and small motor skills, coordination and selection.
Great words are part of block play; structure, ramp, colossal, hitch, construct, demolish, connect,
They teach the language of math & science; sequence, line & angle, weight, measure, patterns, predict
When you play with blocks your body moves, stretches, balances, holds, grabs, twists, pinches…
Toys that typically go with blocks, such as buildings, bridges, vehicles and people help children learn selection, naming, movement, sequence and categories.

Superheroes and princesses are a fact of life.  Play heroes with your children.  What’s wrong with being powerful enough to save the day?!  There are lots of reasons to pay attention to princesses who are helpful and take care of themselves and others.  Set up and play out scenarios that encourage your child to solve a problem, be responsible & expand their imagination.  What defines “good”?  What is magical thinking? What powers do they have all by themselves?  How do you know who needs help?

Pretend play; school, house, builder, firefighter are ripe with learning.  Matching visuals (uniforms, tools, materials), connecting language (principal, emergency, erect) and recognizing responsibilities (teaching, parenting, constructing, and spraying) teach children to organize thinking and extend literacy and physical skills.                              Children do not consider play gender based or limited by age. 

Creative play gets messy!  Painting, coloring, sculpting clay, sorting seeds and stones, squeezing play dough, glitter and glue teach small muscle skills and eye hand coordination. This teaches colors, shapes and symbols. Creative play teaches set up and clean up.   Creative play tools are foam, lacing cards, ribbons, everything to write with; crayons, markers, pencils, chalk… and fancy scissors.  Creativity teaches acceptance of imagination!

Backyard and playground play are body builders. These are natural playscapes that teach children about bones & muscles, stamina, choices, coordination, balance, healthy habits and safety. Put a jacket on and run around.  Swing a bat, kick a ball and ride bikes.  You will be teaching children how important a healthy body is.  This is also the perfect space to find friends and build friendships.

Sing silly songs, rhyme names and objects, write with chalk on the sidewalk and play hopscotch. Play games your children play.  Be fun and funny.  Read every day with children.  Listen to them read.

When you play with your child you are teaching the priceless lesson of self-assurance and the joy of your love and attention.