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7 Ways Teachers Incorporate Play During Lessons

by on 02/04/2023 1034

Play is supposedly children's work, but too often, it is neglected in favour of academics. The urge to play is ingrained in us from birth and cannot be suppressed, making it the defining characteristic of human growth.

We must realise that while having the urge to play is one thing, fully understanding how to play is another, and that understanding might often take diligent practice. Hence, incorporating play during lessons is vital for a child’s development.

Which is why, as parents, it’s good to know how play is incorporated into classes. Besides applying the suggestions listed below in classrooms, parents can get involved at home as well. There are numerous teachable moments that parents can take advantage of during play time by associating a real life scenario with games and creative play.

 


The Importance Of Play In Kindergarten

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Play is arguably one of the greatest methods for young children to learn organically, despite the fact that some may think it is a waste of time in the classroom. The NAEYC states that through play, kids can learn how to react in various circumstances that will inevitably emerge while developing.

Children acquire various skills when playing, such as:

  • Problem-solving
  • Cognitive control
  • Tenacity
  • Curiosity

 

According to research, play triggers the fight-or-flight instinct without really causing the release of the stress hormone cortisol that is linked to it. As a result, signals are produced in the brain that improves learning.

Including play in kindergarten allows your children to apply what they've learned and create even more neural connections.


What If It's Difficult To Incorporate Play Time?

Play can undoubtedly be included in kindergarten without compromising academic time. Any activity can be considered play or not. The magic ingredient is fun.

If you approach things in the right manner, even cleaning up may be enjoyable. In other words, we can spend most of our day playing and still achieve academic standards.


7 Fun Ways Teachers Incorporate Play Time In Classrooms

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Play is a great way for little kids to learn! The abilities your kids will need to develop and acquire are being cultivated as they socialise with one another and learn to solve challenges. Here are seven creative strategies to increase play in the classroom:


Use Puppets

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Children naturally engage in dramatic play, and talking dolls and puppets are immediately recognised as friends and teachers. Additionally, children frequently pay attention to and react to puppets in ways they never would to a teacher!

Some methods that you can include puppets in your lessons are as the following:

  • Present a challenge for the children to tackle
  • Introduce a new song, game, or activity
  • Establish rules and proper behaviour

 


Sensory Bin

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In addition to encouraging play, sensory bins offer rich intellectual practice. Kindergarten sensory bins promote the following development:

  • Sensory stimulation
  • Fine motor work
  • Academic practice

 

Here are a few simple sensory-bin games that your children will enjoy:

  • Pick out an alphabet, then write the matching alphabet on a recording sheet.
  • Draw a number card and select columns from the sensory bin to match the number.
  • Any matching game or pull-and-colour, or write-and-draw activity may be put in a sensory bin for quick stimulation

Use Manipulatives

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Kindergarten children are active learners. Since most children are still unsuitable for abstract concepts, practical experience must come first.

Kindergarten teachers will use manipulatives first before having the children practise utilising a worksheet. This is a simple method to include play in kindergarten, which parents can consider as well.

Consider using the following manipulatives in your kindergarten classroom:

  • Letter tiles or magnets
  • Mini erasers
  • Pom poms
  • Counting bears
  • Connecting cubes
  • Dominoes
  • Dice
  • Toy cards
  • Counters

Free Flow Area

Kindergarten free-flow stations are a fantastic way to include playful learning throughout the day. Free-flow corner allows for:

  • Differentiation
  • Encourage independence and responsibility
  • Give students a choice over their work

There are several straightforward adjustments that the kindergarten uses to apply to their facilities, making them more enjoyable even if they decide not to use free-flow areas in the classrooms. This includes:

  • Conduct individual or team activities.
  • Incorporate activities in the corner that calls for manipulatives
  • Combining fun activities with themes that encourage play

Group Games

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Individual and partner games aren't the only types of games that can be played in the classroom. An excellent technique to include fun learning while adopting a sense of community in the classroom is to play entire group games as a class.

Aside from being played in classrooms, group games can also be played at home. Parents can simply gather their children’s friends as a playdate and come up with games that involve everyone.

To review and practise subjects, try to incorporate as many games and "hidden missions" as possible. This is a fantastic approach to reinventing something that might otherwise get monotonous.

Simple games that can be played in a classroom include:

  • Identify the card you put up in the room
  • Eye spy
  • Matching and memory games

Go Outside

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Children who participate in outdoor play at school are more likely to be:

  • Healthy
  • Inquisitive
  • Energetic
  • Connected to their surroundings

 

Getting children outside not only benefits their health but also provides alternatives outside of the classroom. Utilising the outdoors can motivate children to do the following:

  • Exercise
  • Connect with nature
  • Interact with friends

 

Scavenger Hunts

You can easily get your kindergarten children active by using scavenger hunts. These don't have to be difficult to prepare. Prepare a clipboard and ask the children to look through their surroundings for letters or shapes.


The Possibilities To Incorporate Play Into Academics Are Endless

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There are no set guidelines for play. It doesn't need to fall into one of these "categories."

It may be both free and self-selected. The duration can be short or long, indoors or outdoors. It can even be done alone or in a group, quietly or boisterously. Anything that comes to mind as a method to engage our imaginations and have fun is considered play, and it’s something parents can also look into to help their children grow healthy and happy.