Even great people like Albert Einstein have said about the impact childhood plays have had on his love for science. Therefore, playing is not something to be found silly. As a parent, you have to enjoy watching your child play. They get incredible thoughts and create their world. It is amazing to see the creativeness and imagination they put into studying the world around them.
Several schools use Montessori education and they aim at helping children to learn through meaningful play. So what is a meaningful play? Researchers say that a meaningful play will have five major characteristics. They are
- It will offer the child the choice to choose whatever they like to do
- Learning feels enjoyable for the kid
- There is no script for the child to follow and their learning process evolves instantly
- Learning is driven by innate motivation on what the kid would love to do
- Creates a completely risk-free environment for the kids to experiment with new ideas
Kids will be active participants in meaningful play. Children will not be following a lesson passively, instead, they will be participating along with the lesson in the rules they create for their plays. The play will have some mental rules that are voluntary, which is a significant factor in the process. These rules will be created by children, individually or as a group. In some other cases, the inherent sense of the play’s engagement will be studied to create the rules. The symbols and rules of the play are negotiable and active, which offers a lot of benefits.
How does learning happen through play?
Experts and researchers make it clear that play is a vital factor in the learning process of every kid. For little children, playing is a full-body activity that helps to develop various skills that will help them in their life. Activities like running, climbing, dancing, etc improve the muscle development in the kids and enhance their motor skills. It also helps kids to build their emotional and mental muscles through imaginative and elaborate worlds filled with a rule system that decides the terms of the play.
Several studies found that children learn to control their emotions by themselves and think before taking action when they play. In all the cases, they will think of the impact their actions will have on the game they play. Role-playing is beneficial for the kid in developing their social skills and allows them to grow up to become adults who can endeavor in different professional and personal environments.
Why should play be included in a classroom?
Children grow and learn if they are allowed to play in an academic environment. If the teacher can initiate playing, it will lead to an inquiry-based learning process. When different subjects are combined and take a play-related approach, teachers can build a great educational experience. Children will improve critical thinking skills, increase language abilities, widen their knowledge, and enhance their emotional and social awareness without realizing they are learning.