How Do Children Learn Through Play? – Beiens

One of the most important ways that children learn and prepare for life, as well as being a crucial activity for igniting and stimulating a love of learning. Among the celebrities we know, there are examples of great achievements through playing.

Dutchman Leeuwenhoek likes to play with lenses. He often used the leisure time of guarding the gate to grind the lenses and make them into magnifying glasses. One day when he was playing with a magnifying glass, he put two magnifying glasses together. This move led to a startling discovery. Then he made a simple microscope and discovered a whole new world of microorganisms. Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope by playing with lenses to study microorganisms. If he didn't like to "play", he might not even be interested in learning how to polish lenses.

You may have realised that as a parent, you don’t generally have to make children play or provide incentives to play. This is because children seem to have a natural urge to play and playing brings a level of pleasure and interest which means it can be maintained without external rewards. Play is a powerful and important activity. It has a natural and positive influence on children’s social, physical, emotional and cognitive development. The best learning happens when children are playing because play not only provides many learning opportunities, it also makes learning easy.

There are different types of play that provide a variety of learning opportunities. From physically active play like running and climbing, quiet play like reading or looking at books and co-operative play involving games with others to constructive play using fine motor skills like doing puzzles to dramatic and fantasy play like painting, dress-ups and making music – there’s no doubting the fact that children learn different things from different types of play. In fact, play is such a crucial element of a child’s life that it’s been enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 31 states that every child should have the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

The combination of play and learning makes the study material easy to understand and not time consuming to learn. Regarding gamified learning, the well-known Horizon Report report often predicts that the value of games or gamification or gamified learning is great. "Harvard Business Review" once published an article "Online Games: A Laboratory of Leadership", which stated that future multinational corporations will more and more resemble today's games. Leadership training is made easier by the five elements of making decisions based on abundant information resources, mutually transparent skills and ability levels among teammates, transparent incentive systems, and diverse communication media that can serve special purposes. Children who play well in the game will have stronger leadership in future multinational companies.

Physical development

Active play using large and small muscles such as climbing, running, ball games, digging, jumping, and dancing. This supports children’s overall health and sense of wellbeing, physical growth, appreciation for the benefits of active lifestyles and skills for independence in self-help such as dressing or feeding.

Social and emotional development

Dramatic and imaginative play, including dress-up and role-play, can help children develop positive social and emotional skills and values, learning how to work with other children, negotiate ideas, and make choices and decisions. Play can help children learn to control their emotions, reduce impulsive behavior, or reduce stress because they display feelings that may worry others.

Logical thinking development

Play requires thought, language, interaction, curiosity and exploration. Through play, children develop logical thinking skills and understanding. Such games include chess, puzzles, blocks, and more. Through these games, children can recognize geometric shapes, master the concept of space, exercise mathematical and logical thinking, and improve creativity.

Brain function development

The development of brain training has been an exciting journey of exploration and debate. Research has shown that effective gamified learning keeps our brains active and in high gear. The brain is trained during gamified learning and is more active than in the non-gaming state. Our brains stay active and healthy during gamified learning.

Cognitive development

According to Piaget's cognitive development game theory, the motivation of children's games lies in the development of cognition. It can be said that in order to adapt to the world after birth, children must understand the world in a certain way. Games occur when children actively play. Adaptation to the process of cognitive development in the world. Perception is the ability to recognize things, including the ability to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. In teaching, we can activate children's vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch through games to identify the similarities and differences of certain objects. Through the use of various senses in visual and auditory games, children can consolidate their knowledge of the color and shape of objects and consciously cultivate their cognitive abilities.

Children are naturally curious. They want to understand the world around them. They do this by seeing, listening, moving, talking, feeling, exploring and asking questions. These interactions and experiences often involve games. Through play, children discover their interests, abilities and limitations. They imagine, investigate and explore. They develop memory, build vocabulary, learn new skills and knowledge, and learn how to get along with adults and other children. Research shows that learning through play can support positive learning attitudes and provide an excellent foundation for sustained success in school and lifelong learning skills.

According to the research of Dr. Patten, an American psychologist, children under the age of 2 are generally only at the level of playing alone or in parallel, and the development of social games is still at a low level. Children aged 3-4 can do little movements to use the smaller muscles of the hands and fingers, such as drawing, picking up, stacking, manipulating and experimenting with objects. These fine motor skills are the ones we use every day to zip and button, use utensils and open containers. Children aged 5-7 can play the "find and see" game, which allows them to distinguish the shape, color, etc. of objects. If the child is correct, give affirmation in time. Otherwise, they should be encouraged. And children aged 6-8 can do some large movements including running, jumping, jumping, and climbing. These games allow children to learn physical balance. Children in this age group tend to play cooperative games with organization, rules, and division of labor, such as relay races and treasure hunts.

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