Activities can activate a child’s mind. Play-based learning is a learning process where kids are taught about the world through various active learning experiences. Our one-child parents or parents of this generation are more concerned with providing hands-on learning to their children rather than overloading them with information.Schools which follow play-based learning have the same aim in their mind, i.e., to help children grow with love.
What is play-based learning?
Jean Piaget, a renowned psychologist and child development theorist, once quoted, “Our real problem is – what is the goal of education? Are we forming children that are only capable of learning what is already known? Or should we try to develop creative and innovative minds, capable of discovery from the preschool age on throughout life? “
Parents of the 21st century are well educated and they know that what a child experiences during his/her childhood is critical, as it is shown when they grow up. If a child is nurtured with lots of love, care, and positive experiences, then that child is definitely going to grow up as a positive and good human being. On the other hand, if their experiences are not good, then, of course, they are not going to turn out to be a good individual at all. A study was done on the above by the Harvard Centre on the Developing Child, and the study revealed that what a child grows into is the sum total of his/her childhood experiences.
So, making and breaking is totally in our hands, i.e., in the hands of us adults and the school. This is why the idea of play-based learning is to help kids learn through exploring and discovering rather than forcing them to mug up details.
How play-based learning supports a child’s development process
A child is free to initiate anything in play-based learning, and a teacher is only required to support what the child is doing, i.e., it is child-initiated teacher-supported learning.Children are encouraged to inquire more about the given activities and come up with their own creative thinking. Nothing is suppressed. In fact, it is an environment where a child is left free to grow with their thoughts and imagination. Play-based learning supports a child’s growth in numerous ways.
Development of language
A child’s language development takes place vigorously under play-based learning. When it is time to play, we can’t play alone without talking, so conversation is encouraged during such situations. As we know, a child’s language development takes place during their pre-school years. This is why while doing activities they come across many new vocabulary which they start using in their daily conversation. Children, while playing with each other, engage in different types of talk and they learn to communicate.
Development of social and emotional skills
While playing, children learn to share, to care as well as to wait for their turns. The development of social skills takes place during play as they learn to value each other.
They also learn to empathise with others and regulate their own emotions. Playing can help kids release stress and this is how their emotional development takes place, which is a very important skill to be used when they grow up.
Though it is said that imagination takes place naturally or is inherent, it is also true that to encourage imagination, a certain environment must be created. Under play-based learning, children are left in various environments where they are free to imagine and come up with their creative thoughts.
Building confidence and a positive attitude
Confidence is very important for a child to grow up as a successful individual. One of the important advantages of play-based learning is that it boosts confidence within kids, which helps them face anything without fear and at the same time be ready to take risks. They are given an environment where they can learn at their own pace, and in turn, they grow up to be positive individuals. There is no stress, no competition, no comparison. Children are free to learn the way they want to and to enjoy the process without worrying about the result.
As the days are going by, the requirements of the world are changing. Play-based learning aims to develop skills in kids which are going to be asked by the world in the future. Studying is not to mug up, but to discover. If children were not given any specific result to achieve, they would enjoy the process and come up with something new. This is not only required at the pre-school level but also at the high school level. Governments and schools should understand the needs of the changing world and change accordingly.