The best way for children to learn is through play. For them, games aren’t just a source of entertainment but also valuable sources of information and a range of concepts. Even though it may not seem like it, children obtain valuable skills when they’re playing games, interacting with other children, their peers or their own parents, or performing hands-on activities, regardless of the setting. Through games, children learn how to solve problems, how to think, how to create, and they can also experiment and see how things work on their own. Let’s take a look at how play-based learning promotes cognitive development of their children and how parents can facilitate such activities.
Children can practice problem-solving through games
One of the skills that your child can practice through play-based learning is the one that will definitely be useful in their adulthood, and it is problem-solving. Being able to simplify and solve complex problems plays a vital role in the child’s cognitive development, and kids need to rely on themselves, their knowledge and experience, as well as think critically in order to reach their goal while overcoming different obstacles on their way. Finding a solution requires the child to go through certain thought processes and figure out the way to face the challenge, no matter how small or big it might seem at the moment. Just like we adopt a new language, we can adopt these skills, but it does take time. Although problem-solving skills can be developed in older individuals, preschoolers develop these skills more quickly, which is why parents prefer to start early and make it more natural for their kids to acquire these skills. Children may practice problem-solving through activities such as tying their shoes or reaching for the same toy and coming up with a solution instead of fighting.
Play enhances children’s creativity
Children often rely on their imagination while playing – they set up stores where they can pretend they’re working at the supermarket or imagine themselves working at a school where they teach their imaginary class of toys and plush animals all the different subjects like algebra or the alphabet. They can use puppets to express their creative mind, and since they’re using puppets to talk, they feel more comfortable about sharing their thoughts and ideas. By learning how to be creative, children are able to establish unique connections between a wide range of ideas, which leads to the formation of their own perception of the world around them. By relying on fun educational toys like innovative 3D pens, they can learn about different shapes and use their imagination and creativity to create anything that comes to their mind, and the same goes for crayons, watercolors, paint, or clay.
Games allow them to practice their language skills
Because they spend so much time at home together with their families, children feel more comfortable communicating their thoughts and expressing their needs. However, that can change when they found themselves in an unfamiliar environment where they need to communicate more clearly without relying on their parents to predict what they’re going to say. For example, they may start playing a new make-believe game, like going shopping. That’s when they start applying their existing knowledge. They will start to imitate their parents and pretend like they’re at a shop, and they’ll need to explain the rules of this new game to other children who decide to join them. If there is a dispute or misunderstanding, they’ll use their language skills to resolve those issues, which will allow them to form friendships with their peers.
Children can easily connect with other kids while playing
In order to support their child’s cognitive development, parents need to help them connect with their peers and provide them with opportunities for playing. Most childhood friendships are formed through play, and some of the best places parents can take their children where they can meet their potential friends are playgrounds, parks, and their own neighborhoods. They’re places where your little one can interact with other kids while you get to meet their parents and maybe form a friendship of your own. Playdates can also be valuable learning opportunities, and they can help your child bond with their friends, preferably children their age. When they’re playing at your house, provide them with various sources of entertainment, and let them engage in activities they enjoy instead of strictly structuring their playtime. This will help promote creativity and get them to actively participate in the game.
It’s important for parents to do as much as they can to facilitate their child’s learning through fun activities. By engaging in challenging games, using educational tools, and connecting with their peers, children can gain valuable skills as well as reach their cognitive development milestones.