Play Creates Learning Moments
Everyone enjoys a dose of fun, but did you know that kids tend to absorb information, both simple and complex, easier when they are engaged in some form of play. When they play it’s fun, but it’s also a key opportunity for learning.
Studies show that while play can appear purposeless, it produces pleasure and joy; and there’s intrinsic motivation when activities are freely chosen and directed, especially by kids.
The research summary “The Power of Play” uncovers what play is:
Play is Pleasurable – Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play.
Play is Intrinsically Motivated – Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behavior itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal.
Play is Process Oriented – When children play, the means are more important than the ends.
Play is Freely Chosen – It is spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, she will likely not think of the activity as play.
Play is Actively Engage – Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity.
Play is Non-Literal – It involves make-believe.
Encourage dress up and role-play, or sit down for mini-dose of tea. As your child shows interest in objects or activities, turn them into learning opportunities, like pointing out shapes, colors, letters, direction, etc. Leveraging these special moments, will help build the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
The power of play: a research summary on play and learning. Dr. Rachel E. White. Fall 2012.