The Importance Of Play-Based Learning In Preschool

Importance of Play based learning

When you as a parent will start hunting preschool for your child you will come across Montessori education, play-based learning many times.

So you will get curious to know these terms, so here we have come up with another article for parents where their query of knowing about play-based learning is sorted by giving them in-depth information.

What Is Play-Based Learning In An International School In Malaysia And Why Is It Important?

Children love playing, they learn many lessons through playing.

It becomes easy to incorporate lessons in play-based activities where children explore, perform various tasks, learn, use imagination, and solve problems.

They also learn skills that support social, physical and cognitive development.

In Play-based learning children’s natural curiosity and their desire to engage in activities is used where educators customize their teaching for each child based on the opportunities aligned with the type of play the children choose according to their interest.

In a play-based learning program, children are given an environment where they have different sections to explore like block area, dramatic play area, Science and technology areas, Water/sand area, imaginative play, reading and more such sections.

It keeps them interested as they have chosen their material and activities.

In an international school in Malaysia, you will find a combined program where play-based learning is combined with Montessori.

A perfect environment enriched with play, sensory play, and work materials.

Elements Of Play-Based Learning Montessori Education

Self-Directed

The child chooses their activities or plays and decides how to play and when to play.

Then teachers observe, guide, suggest ideas but children are free to do what suits them and are never forced or distracted.

Unstructured Exploration

The children have the freedom to explore for themselves and select materials or activities based on their own interests.

So there is no structure and we are given an environment with lots of options to explore.

In Montessori education, children choose their play areas and materials based on their own interests, and not by rules or plan to follow.

Fun

Play-based activities are designed to make them enjoyable for the kids where they are not distracted and given enough time to do what they are doing.

Process-Oriented

It is the process that makes difference in learning and not the end goal or outcome.

Pros Of Play-Based Learning

Language And Literacy Development

Research shows that play promotes a child’s literacy and language development.

They are encouraged to have conversations with other kids and teachers which result in the growth of vocabulary significantly.

Even in individual play-based activities children often speak to themselves narrating things which lead to improvement in their language.

While engaging in play with other kids, they communicate, do storytelling, negotiate, share things and thus develop their language.

Teachers of an international school in Malaysia on the other hand support language development by asking questions related to play-based activities and incorporating new words.

Social And Emotional Skills

Play-based learning develops social and emotional skills in children.

They develop positive relationships with peers where they learn to play together, share, cooperate, communicate, resolve conflicts, take turns, and thus become empathetic towards others.

Play helps children in recognising their emotions and how to regulate them.

Play acts as a stress reliever helping them to be calmer.

Creativity And Imagination

Children are born creative and their Imagination is excellent.

However, with play-based learning, they gain creative thinking skills and become self-directed learners.

Boosts Confidence

One of the most important benefits of play-based Montessori education is that it boosts confidence.

They develop the confidence to try new things and take risks which promote their ability to grasp concepts more easily and become an independent learner.

Motor Skills

Play-based learning in the form of activities like jumping, throwing, climbing, running, hand-eye coordination, drawing, painting, roleplaying, etc develops gross and fine motor skills.

Cons Of Play-Based Learning

● Children will not get exposure directly to learning letters, numbers, or scientific concepts.

● Children do not score until after first grade.

How To Find The Best Play-Based Montessori Education Program For Your Child?

● Check if your preschool has both indoor and outdoor play areas.

● Check if they give children the freedom of uninterrupted play for long.

● Check if the preschool has different spaces and materials.

● Check what the preschool focuses on? Whether it is academic, language, sensory, practical life, and cultural.

● Check how teachers incorporate children’s interests into learning.

● Are there individual and group play?

● Do they give freedom to children to learn at their pace and the opportunity to decide on their own?

Does Play-Based Learning Make Your Child Ready For Kindergarten?

The answer is yes. A play-based program is a research-based early childhood program that promotes learning so children are definitely kindergarten school ready.

Understanding The Value Of Play

When children engage in play it challenges children’s thinking. They learn through first-hand experiences, it motivates, stimulates and supports them.

Play promotes a child’s drive for exploration and discovery. It improves their thinking processes, they learn to analyze, evaluate and apply knowledge.

In international schools in Malaysia play-based learning makes children active where they use their brains in lots of ways.

When children play, they explore the world around them and build an understanding out of it.

How To Promote Play-Based Learning At Home?

● Restrict your child’s screen time and give them an environment where they play using activities that encourage them to use their brains more.

● Do not guide them, let them learn to self-regulate and explore.

● Do not provide them anything, give them alone time to use their imagination for play.

● Follow their lead in group play.

● Ask questions related to playing so that they can answer using their creative thinking skills and broaden their imagination power.

● Observe them more. Try and add lessons to it. For eg:- Open videos that promote vocabulary while watching videos.

● Give them tasks to do in order to improve their fine and gross motor skills.

● Take them to parks and allow them to play with other kids.

Conclusion

The main goal of play-based Montessori education is to develop creative and innovative minds, capable of discovery.

21st-century learners should have qualities like creative imagination, curiosity, enthusiasm, and persistence in order to be successful in competitive life ahead and play-based learning prepares them for the world.

Find a preschool that has a high-quality play-based programme that incorporates indoor and outdoor activities, involves music, adult-child interactions and high levels of physical activity.

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