Learning Through Play

Rebecca Harris, Early Education Writer   •   February 20, 2019

A child's natural inclination is to play. It's a creative avenue where they are free to experiment and explore the world around them. If parents, teachers and caregivers provide productive play opportunities for children, real benefits can grow.

Studies have shown that learning through creative, hands-on activities jumpstarts a child's development in a variety of ways. It has been proven that constructive play from an early age strengthens a child's brain and improves their potential to learn. Play is an organic way of stretching children physically and cognitively while developing social-emotional skills.
Providing outlets for constructive play in children's lives is a fun and productive way for them to take an active role in their own learning. When a child is playing, their entire brain is operating and focused on what they're doing. This makes them more receptive to learning something new. Getting children engaged can be a battle, but play is the best way to achieve this goal.  

Playing is also a great way to physically grow and develop. Puzzles, blocks, balls and practically any other form of play involve utilizing fine and gross motor skills. Whether it's throwing a ball or stacking connecting blocks, practicing these skills has enormous benefits to physical development. Energetic games that get children moving help their little bodies grow and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Play also has substantial social benefits. Interaction with other children is a great way to practice cooperation, negotiation and communication. Engaging with their peers promotes social skills and language. It's a low-pressure way for children to cultivate relationships and expand their communication.

While some people view play as trivial or unnecessary, the skills children learn and develop through creative activities benefit them in a multitude of ways.  The social, emotional, physical and academic abilities they gain through play builds the foundation that they will use for the rest of their lives.