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Children naturally engage in play and, although it may not look like it, they are constantly learning as they do. Allowing children to learn through play gives them the opportunity to experience new things authentically and organically. In doing so, they navigate their world using critical thinking and creativity as they solve problems along the way. These are important skills that will set children up for success in school and beyond.
Often, we think children need structured activities to learn academic or kindergarten readiness skills such as phonics, reading, writing, numbers, or colors. However, it’s important to remember that play doesn’t have to be a structured activity. In fact, it’s better if it’s not!
Open-ended play gives children the opportunity to see the world through their own lens. There are also many ways to incorporate play-based experiences into everyday tasks or daily routines.
Not only does play support academic learning, but it also creates healthy social-emotional skills. These skills are just as important as academics. As children participate in play, they learn to self-regulate, share, and work through conflicts.
Regardless of the type of learning, something to always remember is that children learn best when they’re engaged and interested in the experience. Turning experiences into fun, playful activities will support your child’s development in all domains.