Play is a crucial part of a child’s development and provides them with various opportunities to explore, experiment and make sense of the world. Experiential learning is most effective when it is play-based and tailored to a child’s interests and abilities. Young learners can learn more about themselves, others, and their surroundings through engaging in play. That is why we will discuss play-based learning and the importance of play in experiential learning for children.
What is play-based learning?
Experiential learning involves active participation in an experience and allows children to experience the world in a hands-on and meaningful way. Play-based learning provides children with a variety of play experiences that help them develop physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills.
Types of play
Different types of play provide children with opportunities to develop a range of skills and knowledge and help them experience the world in a hands-on, meaningful way.
Imaginative play is a type of play that involves children using their imagination to act out different scenarios, such as playing pretend as a doctor or teacher. It helps children develop social and emotional skills and allows them to express their emotions and thoughts.
Physical play involves physical activity and helps children develop gross and fine motor skills.
Cognitive play focuses primarily on the development of young learners’ thinking and problem-solving skills.
Creative play allows children to be creative and express themselves through art, music, and other forms of creative expression.
Benefits of play-based learning
Boosts Physical Development
Physical play is essential for young learners to develop their gross and fine motor skills. It provides opportunities for children to develop these skills through activities such as climbing, running, and jumping. Young learners will strengthen their bodies and enhance their coordination by being active and participating in physical activities, which promote general physical development and well-being.
Enhances Social and Emotional Skills
Children can learn to better express their feelings and thoughts through imaginative play, which encourages communication and self-expression. Young learners develop critical social and emotional abilities that will help them in their future relationships through role-playing and social interaction. That also helps them comprehend their own feelings and those of others.
Sharpens Cognitive Skills
Building and construction play is an excellent way to help young learners develop their thinking and problem-solving skills. Children can acquire a deeper understanding of cause and effect by constructing and manipulating different materials and instruments. This kind of play encourages critical thinking and helps young learners to understand the relationship between different objects and concepts.
Promotes Cultural Understanding
Play that features characters of different origins and themes encourages children to develop cultural knowledge and learn inclusivity. As young learners gain more exposure to a variety of cultures, opinions, and experiences through play, they build greater empathy, respect and understanding for others.
Fosters a Love for Learning
When young learners actively engage in the learning process and enjoy themselves, they can remember and retain information more efficiently when enjoying themselves and having fun. Play-based learning is able to foster that engagement and active participation from children making it more likely for them to develop the drive to continue learning.
Provides a Safe and Supportive Environment
Play activities provide a safe and nurturing environment for young learners to explore, experiment and make sense of the world around them. Children can learn and grow at their own pace without the pressure of testing or judgement.
Supports Multi-Sensory Development
Various play experiences with different materials, such as blocks, sand, water, and clay, help to expose young learners to different textures, noises, and fragrances. Through these hands-on activities, this exposure allows children to grow their sense of touch, smell, and hearing further, resulting in multi-sensory learning development.
Prepares Children for Success in Life:
By giving young learners a chance to learn via play, we provide them with the knowledge and abilities they’ll need to succeed in their future activities. Children learn how to solve problems, communicate, work together, and think critically. These are all skills that will help young learners in their future academic and professional careers. Children who learn via play are more likely to succeed and realise their full potential.
You should now better understand the importance of play in experiential learning. As we can see, play is a crucial component of a child’s development because it gives them a chance to learn, develop, and grow in a nurturing, safe environment. Young learners may experience the world hands-on and meaningfully through play-based learning and gain the skills necessary to succeed in life. To encourage children’s growth and development, parents and educators should try to give them various play experiences.