12 Jun [CLOSED] The Benefits of Learning through Play
Lately, I have been making a big deal of stepping away from my computer to get on the floor and PLAY with my kids. I feel as parents, we put ourselves under a tremendous amount of pressure to meet new milestones, working just to tick them off a list, often forgetting to have fun and teach through play.
I am fortunate enough to have a sister much younger than me, so I ended up spending my teen years going to mommy and me classes. After feeling rather frustrated with myself because my kids weren’t keen to sit down and learn from a book, I remembered just how much my sister learnt through play; whether it was playing at moms and tots or singing “look both ways when you cross the street” with Barney, her biggest strides were while we played.
Today, I have partnered with Barney and Friends to share the benefits of learning through play, in hopes of encouraging you to get down on the floor and play. The team were kind enough to gift us a range of Barney and Friends Floor Puzzles, and if you stick around you could enter to win a set for yourself.
Play encourages imagination
The thing I love the most about children is their imagination. I honestly envy how my children can go on incredible adventures with not much more than their imagination. From chasing dinosaurs, racing cars, to swimming with whales and dolphins, you will be amazed by the adventures we have had on my lounge floor. I feel like we don’t nurture imaginations enough, and without it, we limit ourselves – just think about it, with a little bit of imagination and thinking outside the box, your child could grow up to be the person who discovers a cure for an untreatable disease, or maybe she’ll be the first female president, eliminate tampon tax and end the wage gap? Think that’s too big? Not too big for their imaginations!
Play improves social skills
I often feel that when I am trying to have a conversation with my kids – just for the purpose of teaching them something new – I don’t make any progress. But when we’re playing together, conversation comes easily! Play is one of the best ways to practice and improve language and social skills as children like using words to narrate the lives of their toys. I guess that kids can sense the pressure so it’s better to have fun, pull out their favourite toys and find new ways to encourage communication and problem-solving.
Play helps children focus
While it may be hard to get the boys to sit at the table and complete a puzzle, it’s easier when the puzzle is on the floor, making it more physical and fun. I have also found that floor puzzles encourage us to work together, by focusing on the end goal and having something to celebrate. What’s more is that the Barney and Friends’ range of puzzles each feature a fun activity like learning the alphabet, counting to 10 or identifying colours – it’s all about learning while having fun!
Play improves motor and cognitive development
Through play, children are challenged to use their senses and motor skills to engage with the environment that surrounds them. As an example, our Barney and Friends’ floor puzzle encourages the boys to crawl around to find new pieces and challenges their motor skills by fitting each piece into the next. Of course, this also helps develop problem-solving skills!
Play builds stronger relationships
Probably the best lesson learnt through play is understanding. Whether it is playing with me, or their friends, it’s great seeing how play develops and builds stronger relationships. After all, that’s what Barney would want!
Win with Barney and Friends
Barney and Friends have kindly collaborated with me, to give away a hamper of their Floor Puzzles. All you have to do is fill in the widget below to be entered to win.
I am the creator behind By Megan Kelly, mom of two boys, named Axl (4-years old) and Eli (1-year old), and local business owner of Dr. Design. I live on copious amounts of coffee, spend my free time listening to podcasts while I garden or journal, and really enjoy baking fresh treats for my family. On the weekends, you’ll likely find me exploring our local city, looking for new family-friendly places for our kids, but that’s only if I am not already shouting at the soccer on TV. I support Tottenham and enjoy pretending to know what I am doing in the Fantasy League, but really I am just in it for the laughs. I can be bribed with chocolate and will never admit to having too much makeup – although, I probably do.