Play-based learning for kids has become popular globally and for good reason. It encourages opportunities for exploration of the surrounding world, benefiting youngsters in several ways. Below are three of the top play-based learning benefits for children in biological and foster families. This playful approach to education is unstructured, self-directed, process-oriented, and fun so they can learn without the pressure of results or grades.
1. Play-based learning helps with language and literacy development
Young children develop and grow their vocabulary from a young age. Parents and carers can encourage this and even speed up the process by encouraging play-based learning.
This benefit is also observed in children who engage in individual play as they will often speak or narrate while they play. Some will even act out both sides of a conversation, which is a delightful thing to see.
Playing in a group encourages children to engage in different types of communication. They learn to tell stories, negotiate, share goals, and collaborate. Parents and carers can further support this by asking questions, introducing new words, and encouraging conversations.
2. Teaching social and emotional skills
Play-based learning is an essential tool for the development of the social and emotional skills children will need as they grow up. One crucial skill is the ability to develop relationships with peers and others.
As they play together, children learn how to cooperate, get along, solve problems together, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts. They also learn to take turns, waiting for whatever materials are available at the time.
Play also helps with the development of emotional skills. One way it does this is by helping children recognize their emotions, and those of others, and learning how to navigate both. Psychologists call this play therapy, and it can also be instrumental in helping children to relieve stress as they work through various stressors.
Lastly, play can help children find the time to process complex emotions. This is especially useful for foster children who deal with the complexities of trauma in their past. As a carer, it can be rewarding to know that the foster children under your care have positive outlets and are learning how to deal with complex emotions.
If you can provide a safe and stable home that allows young children to thrive, foster caring might be right for you. Providing this level of support starts with working with a foster care agent, and those living in Glasgow can get started at Fcascotland.co.uk. Those located elsewhere can also find local foster care agencies that will help them get on this fulfilling and rewarding journey.
3. Play-based learning improves confidence
Confidence helps young people feel curious enough to try new things and even take risks. Allowing kids to play and learn as they please not only makes them confident in their choices but also leads to better learning outcomes because they are likely to be more engaged.
Allowing them to lead the way also encourages independence. When left to make these decisions on their own, they are not relying on adults and know they have to make the decisions themselves.
A great play-based learning environment is incredibly beneficial for young children, as shown above. Finding a good program will require research, but asking and learning from other parents and carers can help with finding which ones will be best for your young children.