Learning through play is a vital part of your Childs development. It includes playing with different toys or activities for different areas of development in order to help them develop. According to Squire. G (2007), play is pleasurable and enjoyable, has no extrinsic goals, play is spontaneous and voluntary, involves some active management. Not only is it fun and interactive for both children and parents, but it enhances the development of all aspects needed including social, Physical, Intellectual, communication and emotional development. Why?
Although it seems like your child is simply playing with a toy or object, the child is actually developing and learning so much. That simple teddy bear that you first bought them as a baby, can actually develop their intellectual and emotional development by helping to create an imaginative mind and if the child is talking to the teddy bear, then it’s developing speech and language. 0-3 years old. Your child, from aged 0—3 are learning so much already, even though you might not know it. Your child needs to develop socially, physically, intellectually, their communication and their emotions.
This is actually done through play. For a child aged 0-3 you should be encouraging development through play. Toys such as hanging mobiles actually increase your Childs physical development by giving them a target to reach for, stretching out their arms. This increases their hand-eye co-ordination and gross motor skills. Reading your child books every day, whether it’s just to calm them down before bed or for bonding time can influence their learning. This encourages their intellectually development as children pick up different words by listening and being involved.
If you involve the child, there is more possibility they will learn more as well as enjoy it more. If you’re reading a colourful, touchy-feely book to an under 1 year old, this can stimulate their development to different textures, colours and making them more aware. Reading topical books can also influence their knowledge of the world, such as books about shopping or religions. Early years settings are good at providing opportunities for children to develop. Nurseries play groups and mum and toddler groups develop your child, not only socially by interacting with other children and adults, but in all other aspects as well.
By allowing them to play on, for example, a slide, cars, push trolleys/cars/bikes, they can practice moving around, walking, crawling etc, as they should provide stimulating activities, developing their physical skills and their fine and gross motor skills. Early years settings for this age will develop your child intellectually by giving them an understanding as well as developing knowledge by watching different scenarios, such as having a role play “home area” which allows them to copy things they might have seen at home such as ironing, play kitchens, etc.
Their communication will increase as they are constantly interacting with others and being spoken to as well as listening to others interact. Emotion development will be promoted in the way that children can develop friendships and bonds with other people and start to develop feelings such as empathy as they can offer group activities, play dates and just by being around other children. 3-5 years old. At the age of 3-5 years old, as a parent, you should be offering them a wide range of activities through play.
Your child has come on a lot already but the development continues with encouragement from you. Your child will be walking and needing to develop their physical development and gross motor skills (larger muscles such as throwing and catching etc. ) Outside activities are good at encouraging physical development. This can just involve rolling a ball to your child and encouraging them to catch it, kick it, pick it up or chase it. It’s involving for you and the child has fun whilst playing. Their hand eye co-ordination improves and their gross motor skills.
As they get older, you could decrease the size of the ball, making it smaller to a tennis ball for example so it becomes harder for the child to catch so they develop their fine motor skills with a pincer grip and tests their hand eye co-ordination. Games such as piggy in the middle, football or just a simple game of throwing and catching. If this isn’t possible, or even if you can, taking your child to a park or play area is fun for them and if you get involved, it can be fun too. Apparatus such as monkey bars and climbing ropes strengthen the Childs muscles and balance.
They develop their physical development by allowing them to exercise and experience new activities that they might not get too at home. It’s also a good way to socialize with other children and adults in a public place. This can teach them life skills such as sharing and turn-taking. Your child will start to talk in full and extended sentences around this age. They would have picked up their vocabulary from listening and copying so far. Play can often encourage talking by getting them to communicate their ideas on the game such as role play, but literacy games can extend vocabulary and help with phrasing.
Games such as “I went to the shop and I bought… ” This is a good memory game and helps them think about every day things that they could get from a shop. Alphabet games, jigsaws and activities can encourage a child to use their knowledge and extend it. 5-8 years old At this age, your child should be attending school full time. Just because their learning and developing at school, doesn’t mean you have to stop! You should continue to play with your children and encourage them to develop physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. It might be easy to just to sit them in front of the TV or computer.
Statistically, Kidshealth. com (1) shows that; “As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with activities such as being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family. ” Also kidpointz. com (2) suggests “ADD or ADHD was 2 times as likely to have been diagnosed in children addicted to video games. ” So if you’re going to give your child computer time, you should use learning game websites such as the BBC or ask the school teacher for resources. This will help build intellectual development and also ITC skills of how to use a computer.
Before allowing the children, read and teach the children E-Safety and how to stay safe on the internet. You should also monitor what your children are doing on the computer. You should be encouraging your child to develop socially. Although they are communicating with children at their school, you should encourage them to have a social life outside of school too. Arranging play dates or allowing them to join after school clubs or other activities such as a dancing school, gymnastics, karate or swimming. Making these physical activities will increase development even further, and they might even find a hidden talent!
At 5-8 years old, children will want to be reading books, even if they can’t and to be read too. When reading a book to a child, the best ones to choose are ones with extended vocabulary. Choose books with a range of new words, good and interesting illustrations and obviously, a good story line. Children will enjoy talking about the book also, so ask them lots of questions and get them to think about the book. Questions such as “why is that character doing what they’re doing? ” Or “what do you think is going to happen next? ” this allows children to develop their thoughts and imagination.
This also allows you to assess the child’s understanding of the book, for example if they don’t understand it, you can do more on the story and allow them to learn about it and why. This is good bonding time for you and the child too, so it’s enjoyable for both of you. Another fun activity for 5-8 year old children, that parents, siblings, friends and other family could be involved in, is making dens. Making dens extend a child’s imagination and creativity, by allowing them to think about different objects to use and ways of creating it. Offer them a range of materials to use so they can experiment.
This can teach them patience and trial and error. In fact, although you might not realise it, dens can increase a child’s knowledge on a range of subjects. The maths aspect of teaching them measurements and how much they material they need, how big it’s going to be. Their creative development is obviously supported and to extend even further, it could help with knowledge of the world. For example, ask your child to make a tee-pee. And extend their cultural knowledge by explaining and teaching about the cultures that live in huts like what they’ve just made.
Or extend it even further by doing it outside in a woodlands area. This makes them think about the natural resources available and how best to do it, using harder, heavier logs for support. Make this a fun day out and take a picnic to share under your den/shelter. Role of the Adult As a parent or guardian for children, you should be involved in playing with your children to encourage development. If adults are involved and engaged in play, it influences the child to be involved too and shows them the value of play.
You can have the power to make a difference to your child by teaching them how to play correctly and properly by offering praise and discipline. Supporting your child with praise such as “you’re playing with that so well! ” This can help a child build their self-esteem and feel good about them self whilst playing and having fun. You can just be someone to play with to a child. Acting as a friend and just company whilst they play, accourding to Lindon J. 2001 (3) “Children often invite adults to join in or may direct them to take a particular action or support play. This is positive reinforcement because you can observe their play whilst they’re having fun and learning.
You being there actually encourages social development and their communication. They can pick up words they ask you and are forced into situations where they might have to speak to you such as wanting you to do something. Adults can often model how to play correctly and sensibly. Children will copy adults and try to do things themselves, such as drawing the same thing as you, making the same thing with playdough or role play games like cooking, which they will have seen you do.
You can give them instructions to help them with an activity, such as a arts and craft activity that perhaps you’ve found in a book. The childen can’t yet read the instructions so you read it for them, telling them the best thing to do and rephrasing so they can understand. Even doing it with them to make a model for them, allowing them to copy what and how you do the activity. This encourages fine motor skills because it’s an arts and crafts activity, often including scissors and cutting or colouring with a pincer grip.
It encourages creative development and imagination. Interlectually, you’re helping them develop their instructions and about the order and general knowledge. However, you could just be there to ensure your Childs safety. Watching over them on a park or play area. The play equipment will encourage their physical aspects of their learning and development as well as intellectually, often having to problem solve such as finding out the best way to get across to a different area, or how best to play with this object.
If you take your child to a public area, social skills are improved as they are around children and come into contact with other. Morally, children learn the values of turn-taking and sharing whilst playing in a public area. You also teach them safety regarding how to play correctly as well as giving them independence. This is a good idea for a play date idea or a group activity as you get some socialising done with other parents whilst your children are safely learning and constantly developing through fun. Your child will often come into conflict. This is where you, as a parent, can act as a mediator.
You can teach those morals such as sharing, turn-taking and ensure that these are put in place through play whilst ensuring your child is developing socially as well as other aspects that the activity may focus on. You can be involved with your children’s play just as much as they are in different ways; either hands on approach or just a sit back and relax activity. Your children will learn through play with your help as you are the people they look up to and are influenced by the most. And finally, enjoy your children and their company. They won’t be young forever.