The Value Of Play
Play not only is fun, but is a healthy way of learning that comes with many benefits.
When children are involved in programs that revolve around the importance of play in early learning programs, it is not only fun and entertaining for the child but gives them the opportunity to learn and explore things that they are curious about. They have the opportunity to connect and build relationships with others as well a learning directly from free play or guided play (lead by the child with the teacher involved), which are both necessary for optimal development.
When a child is in a program that focuses on direct instruction rather than free play children are more likely to struggle with behavioral problems, not have a will to learn and can lead to them being stressed out where as play based learning allows the child to explore while supporting positives responses to learning. When I first started the program I was completely clueless to the importance of play in a learning environment, I had always assumed that it was just “free time” or just a break from learning. After learning more about Early Childhood Education I’ve developed a new awareness to the benefits that play creates.
Free play allows the child to use their creativity while developing their imagination and their physical, cognitive and emotional strength. It gives them the chance to continually stay active and allows them to make decisions that ultimately improve their self-awareness, self esteem and respect for themselves as well as others around them.
Although having a structured routine does have some benefits for children that thrive in that type of environment, there has been evidence stating that children can become stressed out, over critical of themselves