St Joseph's Institution International School

x

Search Directory

The Science of Fun: Using Play to Learn

by on 16/10/2019     756 420

Play is serious business. It’s more than just a chance to have fun but is also seen as a tool for the healthy development for children, especially in toddlers. Most parents do not see the importance of play in the development of their children, and prefer to stick to plain old books. Here are top 3 reasons why you should encourage your child to play and explore (and maybe join in the fun too!):

 

 

1. Play Helps Develop Motor Skills.

 

As parents you might think that menial activities such as sorting beads or swinging from a monkey bar won’t affect your child, but we’ve got great news for you. It does!

 

Research shows that constant play, especially physical activities, not only keeps your child healthy and happy but also develops important motor skills. Motor skills can be generally divided into two; gross motor skills and fine motor skills, which both are equally important to the development of your child. Gross motor skills are movements related to large muscles while fine motor skills are those related to smaller muscles like those of the wrists and the hand. Activities such as pushing buttons, colouring and running or walking are great to help develop these skills. Why not kill two birds with one stone with a simple game of congkak? Playing congkak with your child helps develop their motor skills while they pick up the marbles and practice arithmetic skills.

 

 

2. Play Helps Develop Creativity and Foster Imagination

 

Think of your children playing pretend masak-masak, just like you did when you were small. Wasn’t that one of the moments you cherished from your childhood? It actually contributed to much more than fond memories. Masak-masak helped you develop creativity and even fostered your imagination!

 

With play, children get a chance to express themselves and grow their creativity and imagination. Play allows for your child to create a world of their own and have reign over it and gives freedom for children to think out of their comfort zone and explore new, exciting possibilities.

 

 

3. Play Helps Enhance Social Skills

 

As your child grows, he will start to experience joy from contact with other people, be it his parents, his siblings, or his friends and will engage in behaviour that involves other people. Soon, your child will learn cooperative skills and how to negotiate in a group, which is especially useful in a game of Pukul Berapa Datuk Harimau, where they have to learn to negotiate with the Datuk Harimau and navigate in a group in order to avoid being eaten by the Datuk Harimau!

 

Image: 123RF | Kian Khoon Tan 

 

Whatever the case, it’s best if you remember that play is in your child’s nature. Giving your child a lot of opportunities to play is the best way to help them grow into happy and healthy adults, equipped with many skills that they have learnt throughout their early years. At such an early stage in life, your child is bound to feel adventurous and curious about his surroundings, just make sure it’s safe!