Play-based activities for preschoolers is the primary means through which all children learn. It helps them to construct their understanding of the world they are growing up in through direct experience with it. Right from their early years and throughout the key stages of development, Play-based learning in early childhood enables children to settle into a formal learning environment happily and with confidence.
There is no doubt that children should involve themselves in play with those who are of the same age. But when they are unable to do so, unstructured easy preschool activities with a loved adult can be equally beneficial. And here is where parents can be of great help and make a big difference to a child’s overall well-being. A child experiencing the benefits of having fun should never be underestimated.
The ground rules of Free Play are very simple but different from those found in structured play. In Free Play, it is the child who chooses what she wants to do, how she wants to do it, and when to stop and try her hand at something else. There are no external goals to achieve either. Children take the lead and adults take their cues from the child. And not the other way around!
Promotes personal, social & emotional development
Play-based learning for child development allows young children to explore and learn about the world around them. It can also create experiences that will help children to understand how the society they live in works and how to interact with other people.
Pretending to play, for instance, will help a child act out situations such as family life, playing ‘house-house,’ catching a bus, visiting a zoo, or taking her pet to the vet. This kind of role-play will assist your child to learn to interact with others, to experience and understand her own feelings and to express her emotions.
By helping a child practice adult roles, parents can assist their children to overcome shyness, conquer fears, and develop other social skills such as sharing, negotiation, and turn-taking.
This form of play-based early childhood programs become an essential tool that allows children to develop a sense of who they are and to value the thoughts and feelings of others. It also enables them to maintain emotional balance and sound mental health and well-being.
Importantly, children will be able to easily come to terms with new experiences and to settle into new routines without feeling overwhelmed. Children will also learn to move from being heavily supported to developing their own confidence and independence.
Support rapid physical development & growth
Play-based learning for child development is a vital tool for developing a child as a whole. It ensures healthy brain development, allowing children to use their creativity while nurturing their physical abilities, dexterity, imagination, and cognitive skills. It is through play that children practice and learn to process much of the information that they acquire at home and when they are at school.
Free Play makes certain that children are actively involved physically, and are moving around exercising their entire bodies and working both, their fine and gross motor skills. Overall, easy preschool activities help children to build their physical strength and stamina. They also enable them to put the information that they learn into imaginary or real-life situations.
Relatively speaking, for very young children, a day at school will seem very long and tiring at first. Good physical health and wellbeing will help such children to cope better even when they have to face a stressful situation.
New friendships are formed when children start to play together and they feel more settled. This is really important for preschoolers because in the times ahead they have to get used to a school environment.
Through play-based learning in early childhood, it becomes easier for children to engage; enjoy what they are doing, become better at working with other children and hence are likely to look forward to new experiences that will them learn more.
Encourage cognitive development & the ability to solve problems
Many aspects of physical and cognitive development and learning is made possible by play-based activities for preschoolers. And when given a chance to be themselves and to engage in, they make great things happen — they begin learning to solve problems for themselves.
As you are aware, the rapidly developing neural networks within their brains thrive on challenges. Creativity and imagination flow, children develop their own thinking skills and invent interesting and different ways of resolving situations. Explore different materials and their properties, learn to use their knowledge of what they have discovered by playing imaginatively.
Play-based activities for preschoolers such as water and sand play is perfect for this. By setting up a water tub or a sandbox, a few tools, and containers, you will be stimulating their imagination and set them up to get to work exploring! Adults should step back, and stay out of the way unless their intervention becomes absolutely necessary.
Children will learn how to negotiate on their own, deal with conflict, and find the right way out of a problem they might be facing! Such skills play a critical role when your child faces a real-life problem. She will not only be better equipped but will feel more confident to resolve it. As she would have practised and learned the skills she needs during her Free Play sessions!
Experience has shown that children who have regular opportunities to participate in preschool enrichment programs, love creating their own entertainment in their own style and at their own pace. In fact, they will be more refreshed and ready to move on and re-engage when the time comes for more structured learning.
Enhancing language skills
Children learn by using all their senses through taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell. More importantly, the best learning comes from other children who are of their own age. They keenly observe those around them and copy language and behaviour.
Children enjoy playing and communicating together and teaching each other new words and phrases all the time. They acquire and practise language skills and develop their understanding of words and meanings. They also learn the rules of conversation: when to speak, when to pause and listen, and when to respond.
Preschool enrichment programs promote learning the English language, especially among very young learners whose speech may not yet be well developed. This is why it is not enough to play and learn a language at home. Children need to play and interact with other children from different backgrounds to be able to understand and respect different cultures and attitudes. Play-based activities for preschoolers allows and makes this process happen without friction.
While good language skills remains an important factor throughout a lifetime, it plays an even more critical role in the early years of a child’s life. When a child develops good language skills early on, she can make herself better understood by expressing her thoughts and feeling freely and clearly.
Play-based activities for preschoolers help reduce worries and frustrations, feel less intimidated or scared because your child will know how to make others understand by articulating her needs. This will make a significant difference and help your child settle easily and quickly into school life.
Allowing a child to be cheerful & happier
If you want to have a happier child who will love learning, then make her spend more time free playing instead of just sitting still at her desk. Early childhood programs allow a child to be a child!
This is important in this day and age as Free Play gives children quality time for having fun, be happy doing their own thing without any pressure. Happy young people are better prepared and ready for school and all that it will have to throw at them.
Homework and tests and sitting in classrooms listening to lessons, young children need to spend time learning through play as well. Find the right balance between the two, and ensure that there is always a healthy mix of both, only then you can be sure of never getting it wrong.
A well-planned Free Play program offers a range of physical challenges such as jumping, pushing, pulling, and climbing, to lighter activities such as balancing and manoeuvring objects requiring dexterity, providing an excellent opportunity for the all-around development of young children.
My Gym involves children in dynamic physical activity and movement that help in building neural networks in the brain. Making it easier for children to acquire intellectual skills, navigate complex social situations, and nurture emotional development. Laying a firm foundation for your child’s personal, academic, and future growth by involving your child in age-appropriate physical, creative learning, and problem-solving activities.
To find out more about how My Gym plays a key role in supporting “whole-child development,” please visit any of our centres. Choose a day when you will be relatively free and come over with your child in tow. Your child could be an infant (as young as 6 months), a toddler, or a preschooler, age is not a bar for enrolling.
Please note: My Gym classrooms are thoroughly sanitized every day — the tables, the chairs, the children’s activity stations, and everything else the child might touch is made safe and clean. Please wear a mask, wash hands frequently, and practice social distancing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Early childhood play-based learning helps toddlers adapt to formal learning environments and interact with their peers more confidently. Play-based activities are an important component of preschool enrichment programs that help children develop intellectual, emotional, and social skills. Play-based learning ideas adopt a playful approach to boost a child's physical development and growth. It also impacts the brain development and creativity of preschoolers.
Children enjoy easy preschool activities such as jumping, climbing, balancing, tumbling, singing, dancing, drawing, and sorting, among other play-based learning ideas. Role-playing games, pet care, cupcake decoration, and salad dressing are some examples of exciting and educational ways to engage toddlers at home. As part of early childhood education, reading short tales to toddlers can improve their literary skills. Encouraging kids to identify elements of pictures in books may enhance their fine motor skills.
Children's gross motor and fine motor abilities are honed through physical activity. Preschool fitness programmes include structured and free play-based activities that promote the development of neural networks in the brain. Physical activities assist in developing a child's creativity and dexterity while improving their flexibility. Physical activities also facilitate the development of critical thinking skills in children, which increases their adaptability to blend well into new environments.
Role-playing is one of the most interesting preschool preparation activities that allows children to mingle with peers and better understand their own emotions while expressing their innate feelings. Role-playing activities also help children develop negotiation skills by valuing different perspectives in order to respond more effectively. Hence, play-based learning activities, as a part of child development programs, also promote the development of literary and communication skills in children.
Toddlers are naturally curious about exploring the world around them, recognising new faces, identifying new tones and voices, imitating actions and physical movements, and interacting with other people while engaging in unstructured play-based activities. Through a nurturing environment, preschool enrichment programs offer numerous opportunities that help toddlers gain the confidence to express their feelings and thoughts. They learn to balance their emotions and readily adapt to new experiences.