Learning Through Play
Children learn through play. Play is a child’s work as they learn about the environment and others. Children learn by touching and feeling.
Children learn to get along with others as they role play in the home living area. They learn about construction as they build in the block area. Most importantly, they learn to resolve differences through pretending to be others and taking on a different character.
Very young children (infants) are most often involved in solitary play. They play by themselves as they explore the objects in their environment. As children get a bit older they will participate in parallel play. Children may play side-by-side, perhaps with identical toys, but with little or no interaction.
Preschool children are involved in more complex play such as cooperative play and dramatic play that involves taking turns, assigning roles, and interactions.
Through active play children develop their gross motor skills as they run, climb, and balance. Manipulative play encourages fine motor development and eye-hand coordination as children work puzzles, cut with scissors, and string beads.
Age-appropriate toys and developmentally-appropriate activities are essential for allowing a child to explore their environment and learn by doing.
Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Learning through Play