Unique Ways Children Develop and Learn Through Playing

Unique Ways Children Develop and Learn Through Playing

Childhood is a time of innocence and carefree exploration. Children possess a fantastic, natural potential to learn from informative, interesting, and motivating activities.

Let the Children Play! They Yearn to Play. #KidsMatter

Children Learning Much-Needed Life Skills by Playing

Human beings must be nurtured and well-cultivated to reach the fullness of their potential.

Great intelligence and great creativity have been associated with each other.


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Playful Activities Lead to Children’s Development

Learning through playing is crucial for positive, healthy development, regardless of a child’s situation or their family’s socioeconomic status.

Children need skills and mindsets to create opportunities for themselves and their communities and learn throughout life.

Fear is minimal for children, which exposes them to endless possibilities that lead them to self-exploration and unique discoveries.

They don’t know when they’re on the brink of doing something foolish.


Beyond more prominent areas, such as language development and motor skills, young children also have an imagination and inventiveness that helps them create new ideas and opportunities and a solid motivation to connect and engage with others.

Play harnesses and builds on this potential.

From pretending to discover a new country in one’s own backyard to hours spent building the world’s largest train station, there is no doubt that playing and childhood go hand-in-hand.


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A great gift for first Christmas, baby shower and birthdays. Personalize with any name up to 11 characters.

Children’s Rocker Chairs with Personalized Names (Plow & Hearth)

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Virtual Discovery Globe

Make learning fun again using the Virtual Discovery Globe. It uses Augmented Reality technology (AR) and Object Identifiers technology (OID) to provide a fun way for kids to learn more about world history.

Features over 4,000 amazing facts about the geography of countries, population and more. Select one of the 25 topics on the panel with the included Smart Pen and listen for engaging content. Available in White or Black

Virtual Discovery Globe (Sharper Image)

Developing Children’s Social Awareness

Young children’s social awareness, their emotional knowledge, contributes to their overall social competence; it is related to their positive peer status and prosocial reactions to peers’ and adults’ emotions.

Children with more deficient relationship skills are more likely to have social difficulties and, thus, indirectly, with school adjustment.


Learning-to-Learn Skills

Learning-to-learn skills encompass a wide variety of abilities that help children learn new information and acquire much-needed skills.

They include the ability for children to be motivated drivers of their own experiences.

This involves focus and attention to avoid distractions that pop up, the curiosity and motivation to seek out new opportunities and information, the willingness to take risks, have confidence, and have a love of learning.



Benefits of Children Learning by Playing

Children benefit from having the skills necessary to be self-starters—namely autonomy, persistence, goal setting—and the ability to rise to meet new challenges.

This requires imagining innovative and creative solutions to problems and adapting those solutions if the first try fails.


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Detailed Tree House model to challenge LEGO® builders and inspire endless play!


Children’s Deductive Reasoning Process

When deductive reasoning is used to explore a problem, a gradual build-up of understanding is developed in the process.

When children develop the ability to explore their environment, be resourceful about the materials, people, and skills that they engage with, and think flexibly about different approaches to a situation, they are better equipped for whatever challenge next confronts them.


NFL Deluxe Electric Football Game

Nostalgic 3-D football game with modern advances now with metal playfield. The “old school” football game you loved as a kid reinvented with modern technology to delight youths and fantasy leaguers alike.

Kids will learn the ins and outs of football while they play solitaire or head to head against an opponent. Players wear rubber “cleats” that let them control their direction and speed on the upgraded metal turf.

NFL Deluxe Electric Football Game (Sharper Image)

For example, children might be busy doing a task with creative materials, but they have different degrees of choice: from none when they are cutting out templates to at least some when choosing and coloring shapes.

The most significant opportunities for flexing their thinking muscles come when they can create and develop a project from their own idea to a final product.

Children’s Converse Sneakers

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Child’s Play

  1. Children learn through play.
  2. Play is healthy.
  3. Play reduces stress
  4. Play is more than meets the eye.
  5. Make time for play
  6. Play and learning go hand-in-hand.
  7. Play outside.
  8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
  9. Trust your own playful instincts.
  10.  Play is a child’s context for learning. (National Association for the Education of Young Children)

Virtual Pong Futuristic Game

Virtual Pong is the fast-paced, futuristic game that keeps players on their toes with a simulated “ball of light” that bounces off the walls and ceiling.

It’s the spaced-out version of tennis you can play in your living room. Use your electronic “racquet” to face off against an opponent or play solo against the game console.

The first one to 11 wins! Includes 2 racquets. Ages 6+.

Virtual Pong Futuristic Game (Sharper Image)

How Teachers Engage Children to Learn Through Playing

Teachers teach almost identical to their own teachers.

So, keep in mind that your activities are not shielded from youngsters; they have exceptional opportunities to observe members of your occupation at work.

And, they are known for repeating what they have observed, whether it is a bottom-up, top-down, interactive, or transactional process. They are curious individuals.

Teachers face day-to-day tensions as they juggle the complex social organization of playing within school contexts, curriculum, and constraints.

For example, within a school timetable, playtime can be subject to regulation due to the physical environment of the school, the selection of playful resources available to children, and adult intervention that might include playing being disregarded in favor of “testing” or “learning” tasks.

The availability of time and spaces for playing, advancements in educational resources with increasing use of digital technologies, and restrictions due to safety and adult surveillance mean that children’s perspectives on playing may have changed.


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4 Essential Components of the Teaching Pyramid

The four components of the Teaching Pyramid move from a foundation of building positive relationships with children, families, and colleagues to designing supportive and engaging environments, then teaching social and emotional skills within these environments, and, when necessary, developing individualized interventions for children with the most challenging behavior.

Kids Making Healthy Choices is a resilience-based early childhood curriculum and teacher training program that develops social, emotional, and behavioral skills in children 3–8 years old.

Al’s Pals uses twice-weekly puppet-based discussions, role-playing, songs, and movement to introduce social-emotional skills and decrease precursors to aggressive behavior.

Inviting children’s perspectives regarding their everyday experiences offers them opportunities to interpret and analyze their own social worlds and highlight the complexities of their understandings of their school experiences.

Children’s Creativity Leads to a Healthy Development

Most often, playing is referred to as a fun activity. Studies of children’s peer groups, however, have shown that children’s play is not always fun.

For some children, activities that some might consider playing are unhappy experiences.

For example, a study of children’s peer groups highlighted the exclusion that one girl faced.

Her peers did not let her join in the games, even when the game that was played had been her idea.

Marginalization or disputes that arise during playful learning activities contribute to an understanding that play may not always be a happy experience for all children.


Teachers’ professional understandings about playing and learning are enriched when discussing with children their views of classroom life.

Engaging children to critically reflect on the knowledge that is occurring in their activity is a way to reduce the dichotomy of playing and learning.



New information is learned better when it connects to and expands what we already know. Using rhymes and verses is a good example.

Children also use playful learning activities to test out hypotheses and explore unknowns.

Children who are allowed choice about the features of a game, for example, are more motivated to play and learn more from it.


Children’s Play Is A Highly Social Learning Activity

During play, children can take charge, making choices about what they do and how.

Playing can be a highly social activity, allowing for opportunities to learn from and about others.

Participating in a community garden project allows children and youth to learn something new along with others.

This allows them to share their ideas, knowledge gained from family activities, and unique insights with their peers.

Children often explore what they have seen and done, or noticed others do, as a way of grasping what it means.

By doing so, they can express and expand their understanding.


Giant Piano Mat

Kids of all ages love the Giant Piano Mat. This soft, flexible keyboard features 25 large, touch-sensitive keys so they can literally tap out a melody. Or, find a partner and perform a duet.

The Giant Piano Mat has 5 different play modes, 9 instrument sounds, 10 pre-programmed melodies, built-in dual speakers with adjustable volume, plus an input jack to play along with your smartphone, tablet or MP3 device. Ages 3+.

Giant Piano Mat (Sharper Image)

Hands-On Learning

Learning through playing also involves being actively engaged in hands-on activities.

When children are immersed in the act of self-directed effort, are minds-on, and persist through distractions, we can see benefits to learning.

Imagine a child who is intently absorbed in playing with a set of building blocks. She actively imagines how the pieces will go together and is so immersed that she fails to hear her father call her for dinner.

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This mental immersion and resistance to distraction is a hallmark of both playing and learning separately but seems to be especially powerful within the context of critical thinking and learning through playing.

Hands-On Learning Leads to Active Engagement

Social Interaction is Essential for Children to Develop Relationships

Although playing and learning can happen on one’s own, a powerful context for learning and playing is social interaction.

Through the processes of sharing one’s mind, understanding others through direct interaction, and communicating ideas, children are not only able to enjoy being with others but also build a deeper understanding and more powerful relationships.

Children Learn Social Skills While Sharing One’s Mind With Others

Benefits of Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Children

There is a particular benefit for critical thinking skills when children work in groups versus working alone.

Similar positive relationships have been observed among children’s language abilities, creativity, and social play.

While some types of play are solitary, most play involves others, and as such, is an essential scaffold for learning of all kinds.

Social interaction may be meaningful for some of the more complex, learning-to-learn skills such as critical thinking.


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5 Characteristics of Learning Through Playing

The five characteristics ebb and flow as children are engaged in learning through playing activities.

These are not necessary all the time, but over time children should experience:

  1. Moments of Joy and Surprise
  2. Develop a Meaningful Connection
  3. Be Active and Absorbed
  4. Engage with Others
  5. Playful learning activities require that an experience is meaningful to the child.

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Parental Support is Crucial for Children’s Developmental Learning

Many families, in particular those with lower incomes, are pressed to make ends meet:

“It’s exhausting to be a parent in any circumstance, but it’s much more exhausting to be a parent when you don’t have the resources that other families have” (Lew-William, October 3, 2016).

This leaves caregivers little energy for positive interactions with their children, despite the significant benefits of such interactions.



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Whether adults are supporting or not, a critical requirement for learning through playing is that children must experience agency and be supported rather than directed.


Realizing children’s potential means supporting them to be happy, healthy, thinking, caring, and social children who will become collaborative, creative, and competent college and university-bound students.



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RELATED ARTICLES

Learning Through Play: Increasing Impact, Reducing Inequality. The LEGO Foundation

The Importance of Play: How Kids Learn By Having Fun. Healthline

A World Ready to Learn: Prioritizing Quality Early Childhood Education. UNICEF

The Role of Play in Children’s Development: A Review of the Evidence. The LEGO Foundation



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Unique Ways Children Develop & Learn Through Playing

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Childhood is a time of innocence and carefree exploration. Children possess a fantastic, natural potential to learn from informative, interesting, and motivating activities. Let the Children Play! They Yearn to Play. #KidsMatter Human beings must be nurtured and well-cultivated to reach the fullness of their potential. Great intelligence and great creativity have been associated with…