Play is how children learn. You may have heard this this phrase, but what does it really mean?
Children naturally learn the skills they need for both life and academics through touching, moving, trying and failing, and talking. The best way to support children is to give them opportunities to explore and to explore with them.
One of the most important skills children and adults need in life are social and emotional skills. What does that mean? It means that a person can get along with others; can appropriately be aware of and express emotions; and regulate their emotions. These are difficult skills that many adults struggle with. Children gain these skills by people in their lives showing them, and practicing. A great game is to make faces and label them – silly faces, sad faces, happy faces – this is a natural activity for adults to do with infants and toddlers and is the beginning of understanding our emotions.
Another important skills is language – language skills is beyond reading and writing. Language is understanding what is communicated to you (receptive language); how to communication with others (expressive language); the mechanics of language – speech and listening; and the social rules of language. Infants naturally start playing with language by babbling and listening and looking for an adults reaction. Responding starts teaching receptive and expressive language. Another way of exploring language is to read different books, and talking about what you see and feel. This then combines social and emotional skills with language.
I hope to use this blog to explore more activities that adults can do with children to support their play and learning.