Put yourself in a child’s shoes, just for a moment. You need to learn your alphabet by Friday! Your teacher has given you a sheet with the alphabet on it so you can practise. a,b,c,d,e,,,,f,,,,,,g,,,,,,,h,,,,, You are 5 years old. Have you heard of anything as boring as the alphabet? Did you learn your alphabet by Friday? I doubt it unless it was under duress and you’ll never want to look at it again!
How does play help children learn?
A smile can be all that it takes. Most children respond in the same way as most adults. That is, if something is pleasurable or fun, you are more likely to repeat the experience as well as remembering it in a positive way. The research that has taken place on the importance of play throws up many psychological, physiological, sociological and many other ‘logicals’ to prove the positive aspect of play as a learning medium. As a student studying children’s learning these things are important to know so exams can be passed. As a parent, carer or even teacher, the most important aspect of play, in my opinion, is the fact that learning is fun when you play. As teacher it was music to my ears to be asked,
‘Can we play that game again, please?’
This was a game to help children to learn their alphabet!! Big cards with letters of the alphabet written on them were hidden around the room, for the children to find and then order correctly was the game. Listening to statements such as
‘P doesn’t go there! It goes after O’,
was a wonderful thing to hear. I realise that enjoyment of an activity to help learning is a basic concept but it works and it works well. I don’t believe this is the forum to go into every ‘ology’ to prove that play does help children to learn. Play is fun. That’s why it works.
Go on, give it a go!