In case you weren’t aware of it, the fact is that building children’s cognitive skills doesn’t always require an intricate lesson plan. This is because kids need some time on their own to learn from their surroundings by engaging in playful activities. Just keep on reading and learn more about how play can develop kids’ cognitive skills. Here are four aspects you shouldn’t overlook, so check them out!
Play helps children practice problem solving
The ability to solve both simple and complex problems plays a huge role when it comes to cognitive development in early childhood, and you should know that kids’ cognitive skills can be significantly improved exactly through play. For example, playing board games requires critical thinking in order to find the best possible route around an obstacle, which means that kids are encouraged to think critically. They need to come up with different strategies and test each one to see if it’s successful or not, which can help them develop their problem-solving skills from an early age. On the other hand, games like hopscotch require particular ability to overcome a simple problem, which is a fantastic way for children to develop motor skills, too. This is the best way for kids to learn how to overcome problems during play, without even being aware of that.
It also enhances their creativity
Creativity is one of the most important traits which allow kids to develop their unique worldview and have the most amazing, authentic ideas, and you know what? Play is an essential factor here, too, as it can help children build and enhance their creativity. All you have to do is to give them some space and provide them with ‘tools’ like crayons and a piece of paper, clay, playdough (you can even make handmade one), or puppets, and you can sit and watch a vibrant, exciting world emerge from their imagination. Besides that, playing with other kids can also be extremely beneficial as well, simply because building on each other’s pretend worlds can increase adaptability and strengthen their creative insight. Of course, we aren’t saying that you should spend hundreds of dollars on brand new toys – there are a lot of budget-friendly games and toys you can make from scratch, and we’re sure that your little ones will enjoy them to the max!
It helps them develop language skills as well
Developing language skills is also an important part of growing up, and it can definitely be encouraged through play as well. For example, preschoolers usually communicate with their close family members without using too many words, which is completely fine as they’re around people who understand their needs. However, when they’re brought to play with other kids, the ability to speak clearly becomes the most important one, so that they can enjoy their playtime as much as possible. There are a lot of kids’ education centers around the world that encourage learning languages, with an amazing playgroup in Hong Kong that offers bilingual (Mandarin/English) classes. This is a huge step forward for the children who will get a chance to learn and interact with a second language through age-appropriate mediums, as then enhance their language skills through play with other kids. Does it get better than that? We don’t think so!
Play allows kids to create and explore their own world
As play is fun and self-motivated, kids will be able to create and explore their own world and gain knowledge without the perception of hard work, which is beyond essential from an early age. Besides that, the majority of children are highly likely to conquer their fears during playtime, while practicing adult roles with other kids or adult caregivers. As they’re building their own world, play can boost their self-confidence and resiliency while developing new competencies, which are beyond beneficial to their overall development. These will also empower kids to fearlessly face future challenges, as well as to work in groups, share their toys, negotiate during particular tasks, and resolve any kind of conflict that may occur. Apart from that, children are likely to improve their self-advocacy skills, too, which is indeed a huge thing that will help them throughout life.
As you can see, play is beyond beneficial when it comes to developing kids’ cognitive skills, which is why your little ones should always be encouraged to play more. Apart from building their problem-solving and language skills, play can also enhance their creativity and help them create and explore their own world, which is exactly what you as a parent want for your child, right? All you have to do is to stick to our guidelines and everything will be more than fine!