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Learning Through Play Ideas – Learning Shouldn’t Be Boring

When we talk about learning, what comes to mind for most adults is the traditional boring classroom setting with 30 plus kids and a teacher that we are at times not font of, in front of the class. There is an urgent need for teachers and parents to explore learning through play ideas to enhance the learners learning experience.

Due to the engraved believe that learning is boring tons of students part with their learning attitude and mindset at the door of their graduation hall.

It is unfortunate that the times we live in demands that we be life long learners because things rapidly change on daily basis .

The rapid changes usually renders what we previously learned irrelevant. To keep ourselves relevant to the now we have to be life long learners. And for us to be life long learners requires positive perception and beliefs about learning.

If history failed us on this, we need to do our best to change the narrative that learning is boring for our kids.

In this article we are going to explore different ideas and activities we can do to create a fun learning environment for our kids.

Sand Play

I have never met a child who is neat enough to not want to deep himself in a sand whenever it meets his eye. There is something about the sight of sand that turns every child on. Because there are embedded benefits in this kind of play parents should relax and let them be,

Benefits

Develops fine motor skills ( fine motor skills is the coordination of small muscles, in movements—usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers—with the eyes. Sand play is as important as writing and drawing as they both require subtle motions of the hand and the finger. The digging, scooping, burying,the sifting and the controlling of the shovel all play an amazing role in the development of fine motor skills. The mentioned activities are also very important in the development of the hand eye coordination.

 

Develops social skills. This unstructured play opportunity afford them the opportunity to independently make their own decisions, negotiate to take turns as they use the toys, cooperate and celebrate their achievements together

 

Promotes creativity & use of imagination – There is no limit to what the little ones can do during sand play. Enhance their play by making water available, give them toys, blocks measuring cups, shovels anything sand friendly and watch them build their own world.

There are a lot of extras you can use to enhance or even prolong the play.I f you need the extras or sand itself Amazon got you covered with varieties.


Mud Play

We cannot talk about sand play and leave the mud play behind. These two are interdependent, . They both contribute to development of fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Mud play has an added advantage of developing gross motor skills (the use of large muscles in the body, arms and leg).

It has been scientifically proven that mud play makes us healthier and happier. It apparently has some dirt that contains microscopic bacteria called Mycobacterium Vaccae.

These bacteria increase the serotonin in our brains that leaves the kids happier, calmer and reduces anxiety. Research also alludes that the same bacteria boost the immune system.

I can still remember the days I gave my kids the full mud day experience the excitement cannot be compared to any form of expensive gift. WARNING : some of their clothes got permanently stained and damaged, so plan their attire wisely.

Dolls and role-playing

This one works like magic, you don’t have to do much just buy dolls and step aside. Before I get you all excited let me warn you that, you might have to accessorize the doll now then. I have bought dolls for all my kids boy and girls. I don’t know if there can ever be a lesson that can teach love,how to to love and expressing love than doll play.

I have seen kids expressing affection to their dolls and getting better at it daily in a way no church sermon can teach them.

I have seen them showing some level of maturity, responsibility, compassion and empathy in a way that exceed the impact of conversations I have tried to have with them on mentioned subjects.

I have witnessed them expressing selflessness by taking off their jackets to cover the dolls whenever they feel it is chilly and their babies are not well-dressed.

I have heard them play the whole drama episode with each other while engaging with their dolls. Many a time I wished we had some hidden cameras, I’m confident some of these plays if recorded will make us some money on a later stage.

Their creativity, imagination and use of words surely gets nurtured through these episodes. Without doubt, I can confidently say that doll play is the most powerful Character Development class for all kids (Boys Included)

Drawing & Painting

Traditional schooling screwed this one up for me ( you know it always gives us good sense of relieve when we blame someone) I am just so bad with pencil and a paint brush. I believe the main reason for my lack of confidence in this area is it was presented as a classroom duty, restricted by time and subject to the teacher’s assessment, who couldn’t spare her negative feedback towards my not so good attempts.

My point is drawing and painting should be experienced under an unstructured environment, no time limit, no rules, no authority. Present the tools and vamoose.

Benefits

  • Good stress reliever.Best communication method for hidden emotions, It actually gives you access to the child’s mind and emotions.Increases one’s emotional intelligence.Great imagination and creativity enhancer
  • If sand play and mud play develop fine motor skills then drawing and painting seals the deal.
  • It’s a great brain stimulator, training the painter or the drawer to be able to pay attention to finer details.

 

 

Kitchen Play

As a homeschooling mom, kitchen has been our best learning area.

In the kitchen beside learning the obvious life long skill of preparing meals, we also learn to work as a team, communicate with each other, calculate risks,evaluate and make timely decisions.Amazon Pretend Kitchen Play

In the kitchen we learn good hygiene, we learn patience, diligence and they joy of serving others

Measurements are best understood in the kitchen than from a text book. Our best reading lessons happened while reading recipes. We learn and continue to learn how to read and understand time in the kitchen as some recipes have strict time restriction.

Depending on the age of the child, it can be real kitchen or pretend to play kitchen the fact remains that the lessons learned there are invaluable.

 

 

Obstacle Course

Obstacle courses gives the kids that exciting and daring experience. It is a thrilling adventure that develops and test their various skills.

Like the name suggest it teaches kids how to tackle obstacles, giving them a heroic and confident feeling when they have conquered, and teaching them how to handle failure if they fail.

Among many it teaches them how to face and handle uncertainty and be ok with doing the uncomfortable

 

At best an obstacle course provides an opportunity for sensory exploration, that comes with the running, jumping, climbing and crawling involved.

Finally, I cannot not think of a better way to build your little one’s strength and balance. It is a great overall workout.giving strength to most body muscles.

                                     ‘ Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing ‘

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

Play is their primary and first language, lets teach them through the language they best understand then we do not have to worry about comprehension .

Play is sacred for them, it is a sacred moment to learn to explore, to distress, to communicate to get to know self better to develop talent and skills and more. Parents should do their best to give a lot of unstructured and uninterupted play

 

 

25 thoughts on “Learning Through Play Ideas – Learning Shouldn’t Be Boring”

  1. I completely agree with you: learning should not be boring. I love to paint and I want to introduce my kiddos to it and at the same time teach them useful skills they’ll use further on in life. I appreciate the fact that it’s a passion I have always had and I may even transmit it to them. I’ll start with this today.

    Reply
    • Thank you Ann

      I’m glad the article revived your love for painting. I envy you on that, seems like I cant even hold the brush.Please use the skill to equip them as much as you can .

      Reply
  2. You know if I never read it here,my mind would not have processed the significance of all these plays that can actually have impacts on the kids rather than the traditional class plays. I really fancy all you have shared and honestly, this is worthy to see out here. Thank you so much for sharing this here with us all especially the new parents

    Reply
    • Thank you for stopping by. If the kids are happy and are learning the parents will automatically enjoy the parenting journey. 

      Reply
  3. Excellent article, I really agree 100%

    The world of learning has become “academic.” I am not saying that it is not necessary (a doctor must be academic!) But they have separated so much that very few children manage to pass that barrier. Only if they have a great (GREAT) motivation to do it.

    I like the games you propose. And let me tell you that I work with physics and mathematics recreationally … and oh my god, how eager children are to learn (play …)

    Physics also gives us many possibilities to learn while playing, to discover what is going to happen, to experience forces, gravity, centrifugal force!

    When you play, learning is burned! Because it “sticks” with emotions … and that is the best glue!

    I really like this blog, and the ideas so we will keep looking more, and I will recommend it to the parents of my students.

    One question, do you have any examples of applying planning strategies and tactics to play in groups of children?

    Thanks for the input!
    Regards
    Jason

    Reply
    • Thank you Jason, I really feel that you feel me 

      ‘When you play, learning is burned! Because it “sticks” with emotions … and that is the best glue!’

      I have noted your question. I will answer it in a blog post and notify you.I have few.I have taught English in China and the best way to teach the kids was through games.

      Reply
  4. Wow, I really enjoyed this read so much because of the tons of things that I have learnt. Personally, I do not encourage my kids to have fun in this way in the past but I feel like I might have been doing things wrongly because I have not seen he good side to this kind of things that they do. I really think that from today, I should try it out and then also start using it to also teach my kids.

    Reply
  5. Yes, play s a great way for children to learn.  I remember when my son was still little, I pretended to be the one waiting for my breakfast to be made and was excited to learn from him, the chef.  I always wanted to find out what he was “cooking”

    Then there was the cashier, where he would say “ba” at the scanner because he thought it was a telephone.  He especially liked the sand castle game.  It was at this play time, that he stood for the first time.

    But his all time favourite was playing cars and lego.  I never got him the Duplo for very young children. Because I wanted him to advance and follow insructions quickly, I bought him the next stage up, so that by the time he was 10, he could not only put together very advanced car sets for his age, he was able to draw them in detail too.

    Playing together brings about bonding and that is why I have a very good relationship with my son – because we play together.

    Thanks for inspiring me to think on the ways I played with my son when he was younger.

    Reply
    • HEy Stella 

      That is so amazing, I fully agree there is no better way to connect with our kids than to play with them.

      It looks like you did an amazing job. Well done.

      Reply
  6. I agree with you on this matter. Learning through play is quite rewarding. It’s just one of the best ways kids learn. When it’s done this way, they feel good about themselves. And also, it  makes them learn how to think. When a child only learns by sitting in front of a class room especially by a teacher he / she is not fond of can be really exhausting and tiring. But combining both will can enhance their learning abilities.

    Reply
    • hey Kelly 

      Thank you for stopping by the Incredible Boy

      I am glad you get me, lets educate our kids using the language they understand best PLAY.

      Reply
  7.  I didn’t realise that all those plays could have that much impact on the kids rather than the traditional classroom. Your blog is very enlightening to read. I really enjoyed reading your blog. It is very instructive. Am looking forward to seeing more blogs like this. Out of the learning ideas you listed which one do you thinks is the best?

    thanks.

    Reply
    • Hey Fatima

      Thank you for stopping by the Incredible Boy

      I wouldn’t really say which one is the best but will encourage you to alternate them maybe also depending on what you want to achieve.

      Reply
  8. I tots agree with you. Learning should not be boring at all. There are fun ways to learn. Like reciting a table in a form of music, for example reciting the times table in the form of music. Another example is the first twenty elements of the periodic table being recited in a form of music. I did get to do all this and it worked wonders.

    Reply
    • Hey Kelvin 

      Thank you for stopping by The Incredible Boy

      You really made good suggestions of fun way to learn. I should find a way of incorporating them in this article.

      Reply
  9. Learning is the ability to understand a particular topic of interest. From time to time there have been ways to improve the way people learn to make it actually fun for learners. Many people did not really love the learning process because it seems to be boring, but right now there are different kinds of fun instructional materials and the style of teaching requires learning and fun

    Reply
    • Hey Maureen 

      Thank you for stopping by The Incredible Boy

      I agree learning is about understanding and we should use different kinds of fun instructional ways to ensure that our kids enjoy what they are learning 

      Reply
  10. Hello there! This is a great one. I actually didn’t see it this way, didn’t know there were so much benefits from these little things. Personally I do not encourage kids to play with sand and muds because of their hygiene but after reading this I just realized that there is so much to it. I’ll make sure I share this article with my friends cos this has been really helpful to me. 

    Reply
    • Hey David 

      Thank you for stopping by The Incredible Boy

      I sure understand your feeling about this , I was like that for years. It is never too late to learn. Kids learn best through all kinds of play.

      Thank you for sharing Learning Through Play Ideas.

      Reply
  11. Play is very important to our children. We must allow them to play as much as they want. It is especially good if they play together with friends. Yes there is plenty of learning as they play. Your article is very informative on the type of skills they learn as they play. They learn important skills they will use later in life as they become adults. The obstacle course is particularly good in that they learn how to overcome challenges in their lives.

    Reply
    • Hey Energy 

      Thank you for stopping by The Incredible Boy

      I am glad that you enjoyed the learning through play ideas article. And yes playing prepare them for what they will experience later as adults.

      Reply
  12. Hi Diane, 

    Another lovely article from you. I am lucky to be subscribed to your email service and get all your articles in my mail. Thank u.

    I love it that u refer to play as the first language of kids. How true!. I especially love the obstacle course and I wish I had made one when my kids were young. they would have loved it, totally. I think children can be taught all possible values and good habits while at play and this must be encouraged sensibly and systematically. 

    Regards,

    Aparna

    Reply
    • Hey Aparna 

      Thank you for stopping by The Incredible Boy 

      And yes I enjoy having you here. Please share the good news that kids learn best while they play.

      Reply
  13. You are so right that learning should be fun. It is not only an academic function. Learning through playing is the best way and it is amazing how much one remembers if you learn something through a fun activity. Kids are like little sponges when they are little, so learning through play should be encouraged, even if they do end up getting dirty. So playing with mud, or painting with your fingers, should be encouraged as it stimulates the young mind. Great post. 

    Reply
    • Hey Line 

      I concur that learning is not only an academic function.

      Thank you for stopping by The Incredible boy and engaging me on Learning through play ideas .

      Reply

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