For children, learning becomes easy when it is voluntary, pleasurable, and engaging. Playing helps Your Child’s brain development and is essential in preparation for education.
Learning through play
Play is the most important way children learn about the world around them. It facilitates brain development and helps children to develop language, memory, executive function and communication skills. Because it’s fun, children enjoy what they are doing while learning in the process. This builds their self worth by making them feel good about themselves and gives them a sense of their own abilities. So, the easiest way to make Your Child learn faster is by playing with your little one often.
Why play matters
Your Child’s emotional intelligence in adulthood depends a lot on the skills learned in the first years of life. Those early formative years, especially the first five years are when significant brain development happens — over 90% of brain development is completed by age five.
From playing, children can develop several subtle skills, such as emotional skills, creativity, and social skills. Play helps them to be imaginative and learn how to solve problems and work with others. Lack of play can adversely affect a child’s learning, mental health, and even physical health.
What you can do
You need to understand the importance of play in Your Child’s development and create time to play with the little one. Create play ideas that can encourage Your Child’s learning, such as role play, peek-a-poo, hide and seek, and outdoor play. Also, provide the little one with toys and remove things that may cause distractions.
Role play: Role play can help Your Child’s social and emotional development. Little children understand the world around them by acting out situations before they happen or copying what is happening around them.
Outdoor play: It is good to play with Your Child outside so that the little one can learn how to adapt to various environmental conditions. Outdoor play also gives Your Child the opportunity to play with the whole body and develop gross motor skills.
Play peek-a-poo: It trickles Your Child’s sense of humor and helps build essential short term memory. In addition, it helps Your Child develop gross motor skills and visual tracking ability.
Play hide and seek: Children love the game because it’s fun and exciting. Hide and seek teaches them spatial memory and directions and helps them improve agility, balance, and coordination.
Give your child toys: It can be simple wooden blocks, kitchenware, empty plastic bottles, wooden sticks and traditional toys are all okay. Just make sure the toys are not treated with chemicals and safe for children.
Remove screens and other distractions: For kids to get started in play, they need an environment that allows them to interact with others or toys, without being distracted. So, remove all mobile phones, switch off the TV and remove toys that make sounds or produce lights.
Ketsupa Jirakarn (Mental health specialist) (31 March 2021)