As children grow there are a lot of changes that they undergo and they get to experiment a lot with their surrounding environment. Play is important for every child not only for fun, but also for the development of the brain, physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Developmental play provides children with the opportunity for active learning and it is a way that they use to make sense of the world and get approach the world around them. It also offers much me than educational learning and it offers different forms of learning structures which reinforce concepts and tasks being taught.
“As they grow, they first explore with their eyes and then they begin to reach out and grasp so as to learn how things work by shaking banging and mouthing.
Developmental play starts from the infant stage as children are very eager and determined to understand how their surrounding works. It is through play that they learn to communicate, test new ideas, get along with others and solve problems. As they grow, they first explore with their eyes and then they begin to reach out and grasp so as to learn how things work by shaking banging and mouthing. As children master their world, they develop competencies that enable them to face future challenges and depending on the activity that they are involved in them hence gain a lot of skills such as:
- Social skills where they learn to play with others and practice cooperating, sharing and taking turns. They build social emotional skills when they try out different roles and they learn how different people feel, think and experience the world and this helps them become good friends and good people to others.
- Numeracy through the tasks of sequencing when they follow a pattern of circular cardboard.
- Imagination and creativity through open-ended games such as beading and construction where they get an opportunity to create and design what they want.
- Fine motor skills through activities such as cutting, pasting and this helps in pencil control and letter formation when they learn to write.
- Problem solving through trying to build something on their own and it is not working.
As a parent, you matter a lot in developmental play as it helps children learn in a lot of ways and it builds their confidence and problem solving experience. When you join in their pretend play you give them a chance to develop their ideas and imagination and you encourage them to develop a story. Studies show that playing together shows that children will play longer and develop better play skills than when they alone.
When you play with your child, they get to know that they are important to you and are loved and this builds their self-esteem and self-confidence. As you watch them you will see that they have much concentration, passion and creativity and you will only present a new skill when your child is ready and offer minimum support. Children learn how to do things by copying what others do so by 18 months all the imitation leads to new skills and they will pretend a lot such as wiping the table, driving a car. In an environment that is filled with consistent love, children become eager lifelong learners.