How Playful Learning Benefits the Classroom
Playful learning is one of the main ways in which children learn and develop. It helps to build self-worth by giving a child a sense of his or her own abilities and to feel good about themselves. Because it’s fun, children often become very absorbed in what they are doing.
Playful Learning helps children learn and develop
Play is very important to a child's development; it is an integral part of a child's Early Years Foundation Stage and supports their learning journey too. Young children can develop many skills through the power of playful learning. They may develop their language skills, emotions, creativity and social skills. Play helps to nurture imagination and give a child a sense of adventure. Through this, they can learn essential skills such as problem solving, working with others, sharing and much more.
Playful Learning improves imagination
During play time, children learn to work with others toward a shared goal. One child may lead play, but must learn to be perceptive of others’ needs. Through playful learning, children learn to be assertive, negotiate, cooperate and share. This collaborative skill is important in developing social skills and building friendships. Through play, children learn to work through their emotions. Even before they can speak, they express their feelings through physical play, storytelling, art, and other activities. These social skills are also a vital part of language development.
Playful Learning engages children
Compared to drill-and-practice, playful learning engages and motivates children in ways that enhance development and lifelong learning. This engages children to a positive atmosphere. Learning is no more a burden. With better knowledge comes improved self-confidence. A playful mindset for primary/elementary children helps them engage in formal learning where they are creative, accepting of mistakes, taking risks, and open to trying out something new. It can often lead to creating their own games and activities.
Playful Learning improves strategic thinking and problem solving
Critical thinking is the ability to analyse and sift through information in order to make sense of it and apply it in the context of the environment. This skill involves the part of the front part of the brain that manages attention, memory, control, and flexibility. Having a child point out that they always have story-time before nap-time is an example of her using critical thinking. Children learn numeracy and literacy skills through playing with various toys and books and demonstrate their thinking as they talk about what they are doing.
Playful Learning fosters effective communication
When your child plays, either alone or with others, he is developing important speech and language skills as well as listening skills. If your child is playing alone, he will typically narrate his action or talk to himself as he manoeuvres various toys. When playing with other children, your child will communicate purpose and organizational ideas with others. If there is disagreement, children are guided to talk through the issue and work on compromise. Guided play is a model setting for language learning. The exposure to additional vocabulary enriches their own variety of words that they can then incorporate into their language.
Playful Learning develops social skills
During play time, children learn to work with others toward a shared goal. One child may lead play, but must learn to be perceptive of others’ needs. Through play, children learn to be assertive, negotiate, cooperate and share. This collaborative skill is important in developing social skills and building friendships. Through play, children learn to work through their emotions. Even before they can speak, they express their feelings through physical play, storytelling, art, and other activities. If they experience a negative feeling, they may repeat that experience though play.
Playful Learning creates confidence in children
One of the most important outcomes of play is the development of confidence in even the youngest child. Without confidence, the ability to take risks and try new things is compromised. As babies, we gain confidence by learning that our needs are important to our parents or other caregivers. Young toddlers use adults as their security home-base from which to explore and learn and they gain confidence as they uncover the many things they can do all by themselves. By the time children reach preschool age, they know they can still trust the adults in their lives, but they also have the confidence they need to take charge.
LEGO Education aims to provide teachers and other education providers with fun ways to engage children with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
LEGO Education sets are designed for Primary and Secondary level education and also come with a free downloadable guide which includes resources aligned with the curriculum to help teachers with building instructions and classroom tasks.
Playful learning is almost certainly at the core of the future of learning. To not allow learners to ‘play’ with information, platforms, and ideas is to ignore the access, tools, and patterns of 21st-century life