Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play, children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.
Learning doesn’t always have to be a classroom experience, it can be immersive, interactive, creative, fun and imaginative. Parents, teachers, when next you want to teach your children something, turn it into a game. According to Dr Kathleen Alfano, Former Director of Child Research at Fisher-Price, ‘’Games help children think strategically, solve problems creatively and develop social skills, such as following rules, playing with others and taking turns. Children love to play all kinds of games—board games, card games, computer games, console games, outdoor games—and often times make up their games, or their own rules to familiar games.
Many children’s games also incorporate specific learning skills involving numbers, colors, shapes or letters. Last but not least, playing games is a wonderful opportunity for family bonding and tradition building’’.
Here are some fun games children can play and learn a whole lot from:
- Learning about the Body
-Tell a story about how God created humans, making eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hands, legs, etc.
-Get a large picture with drawings of parts of the body and descriptions.
-Make moulded figures of humans with paper Marche or clay
-Draw and colour human figures with crayons or water colours
-Can cut out eyes, nose, mouth from images in a magazine and make a new face with it.
-Children can sing ‘’My head, my shoulder, my knees, my toes….All belongs to Jesus’’
– ‘’ Show my your eyes…this is my eyes, show me your nose…this is my nose’’ etc.
-‘’ If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands’’
- Learning about Animals
-Get a large picture with drawings of different animals
-Watch a documentary on various animals and learn the sounds they make.
-A visit to the Zoo
-Draw and colour animals with crayons or water colours
-Make paper cuttings of animal figures
-A bowl of water with plastic fishes and sea animals
-Stuffed animal toys
-Solve animal puzzles
-Children can sing- ‘Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool’
-‘There were two black birds sitting on the wall’
-‘Old Mc Donald had a farm’
- Learning about the Earth
-Tell the creation story
-Get a drawing with pictures of the earth, sun, moon, star, sun, etc.
-Get decorations of Sun, Moon, Star, etc.
-Make paper or cardboard cuttings of shapes of star, moon, etc
-Draw and colour shapes of sun, star, etc.
-Children can sing ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’
-‘Twinkle twinkle little star’
- Learning about the Alphabet
-Get a picture with the alphabets so children and identify them
-Get an old keyboard, so children can identify the letters to the alphabets, or letters to their names
-Draw and color
letters of the Alphabet
-Children can sing ‘A B C D’
– ‘A for Apple, B for Ball’’
The list is endless, the fun is unlimited. Children learn best, when it is fun and engaging because the activities are easy to put together.
The following are lots of things children can learn after every exercise:
- How to work together as a team, and take turns doing things
- Listening to and following simple instructions and directions
- Recognising letters and numbers
- An appreciation for animals, parts of the body, the sun, moon, and stars, etc.
- Learning the different animals and identifying them by the sounds they make.
- Strengthening their fine and gross motor skills.