Experts at The Little Dreamers Nursery in Dubai shine light on the importance of learning through play for children
21 July 2019| Last updated on 22 July 2019
As parents you might sometimes worry about the balance of time spent between learning and play
But play IS learning for a child, and with a bit of creativity on your part you can make sure that your child is learning academically whilst still having plenty of fun!
Learning is an active process of engaging and manipulating objects, experiences, and conversation to build mental models of the world. It requires a person’s motivation and cognitive engagement.
Play is the act of doing an activity for fun or enjoyment; it could be pretend play or playing a game or sport. Looking at the above definitions of both learning and play, you can see that they go hand in hand. So parents – if you want to help your children academically, all you have to do is play! Get to know your child – find out their interests and what they like to do, then you can be an expert play-buddy and choose play that they will focus on and enjoy for a while.
Did you know that curiosity about the world, taking initiative, problem solving, focused attention and persistence are some of the attributes that children learn through play?
Children learn by observing the world around them and copying what they see – so if you want your child to have the above qualities make sure to be a good role model! You can show these qualities when you play with them.
You can make play more engaging by being a full participant, talking while playing, asking and answering questions with your baby, role play, making sounds and actions, appreciating the childs endeavors, providing a safe environment for play. Every-day tasks and routines can be learning opportunities for example whilst dressing, changing diapers, feeding, during a walk, putting baby to sleep, shopping etc. If you talk, sing and make the normal routine tasks fun, your child can learn then too; when dressing you can count the buttons and name body parts and when shopping you can ask your child to find items for you.
Some top tips for playing with your child:
- Get down on their level.
- Let them lead the play – even if it seems like nonsense or like they are doing it the ‘wrong’ way. Let their creativity flow!
- Provide a variety of role play toys like puppets, fancy dress and small figures.
- Provide art materials like paints, straws, paper plates, crayons, glue, collage materials.
- Provide collections of resources like pebbles, shells, sand, wood, rice that they can explore.
- Listen – you might learn about your child’s thoughts and interests as they talk during play.
Here at The Little Dreamers Nursery, we have well trained staff from across the globe, resources, play equipment and a beautiful, calm environment conducive to learning. We initiate play through songs, stories through and providing a variety of resources to stimulate imagination and play in curious minds! To find out more contact [email protected].