Playtime is just about having fun, right? Not really. There are lots of different type of play (imaginary, sensory and physical) with huge benefits for early learners – here’s how to make sure your child is getting enough!
On the surface, the concept of play sounds frivolous. To adults, play is something that children enjoy because they have no other responsibilities or obligations. However, the reality of the matter is, play is the work of childhood. It is easy to underestimate the power of play, but these moments are filled with endless learning opportunities.
Recognising the importance of learning through play, parents who have children who are about to enter an early childhood programme should search for a school that offers a play-based curriculum for its youngest learners.
The Perks of Playing in the Classroom
When children are given time to use their imagination and enjoy the freedom of play, they will realise many benefits. These are a few of the most significant benefits that result from playtime:
- Play allows children to develop their sense of creativity and to expand their imagination. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, unstructured playtime can significantly improve the emotional health of developing children.
- Play improves a child’s physical development as well. Children improve their dexterity and their motor skills while they are playing. When children engage in unstructured play, they are more physically active, helping them develop strong, healthy bodies.
- Play teaches children how to interact with the world around them. They can take on adult roles and develop an understanding of those roles in an environment they can manage. They also begin to develop problem-solving skills as they play with their friends around them.
What Does Play Look Like?
Play takes on many forms, allowing children to explore their interests within their personal comfort levels. These are some of the most common types of play:
- Imaginative Play — In imaginative play, children use their minds to imagine the world around them. Imaginative play can be done on either an independent level or within a group of children. Roleplay is one of the most common forms of imaginative play, and preschool children often love this area of the classroom.
- Sensory Play — This is a type of play that ignites the senses. When children can touch, smell, taste, see or hear what they are playing with, they will form new connections to the experience. There are often many sensory bins around in a preschool classroom, such as sand tables or water tables.
- Physical Play — During physical play, children are active and physically engaged in the experience. Physical play, such as dance or exercise in the classroom, helps promote gross motor skills development.
How OWIS Incorporates Play Into its Early Childhood Programme
At One World International School, there is an Early Childhood programme with a play-based curriculum which is also structured on the IB PYP (Early Years component). Students are able to direct their learning experiences while being guided by their teachers. Play is a core part of the Early Childhood programme, and students can enjoy many different types of play throughout their time at OWIS. There is time for messy play, free play, creative play, sensory play and more. By offering a diverse range of play-based experiences, children develop into well-rounded students.
Parents should make sure that children have plenty of time to play in their home environment. Both independent and group play are integral to the development of a happy and healthy child. Parents should also search for an early childhood programme for their child that will create a positive foundation for the rest of their educational experience.
For more information about the OWIS Early Childhood programme, schedule a virtual tour today.
One World International School
Nanyang Campus: 21 Jurong West Street 81, Singapore 649075, Tel: (+65) 6914 6700
East Coast Campus: Block G, 231 Mountbatten Road, Singapore 397999, Tel: (+65) 6914 7350