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Preschool boy smiling happy playing on the playground.
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Balancing Playtime and Learning for Preschoolers

It’s easy to see that young kids learn a lot through play after just a short time with them. Kids learn a lot about themselves and their surroundings when making up stories, acting out scenes, doing housework, or building tall structures out of blocks and other building supplies. Kids can use their imaginations by playing games, and “playing house” can help them learn how to talk to others and solve problems.

Child care in Brookeville, MD helps kids learn through play. Pretend play allows kids to learn by role playing. This makes people feel better about their abilities and boosts their confidence. Boys and girls can learn about physics by “studying” the effects of weight, balance, and structural integrity while building forts, towers, cars, or homes. Parents are often amazed at the creative games their kids come up with when they let them roam around a safe area.

Kids should play and do planned learning tasks to get the most out of their childhood. Kids already used to books, letters, and numbers before they start school will have an easier time when they open their first book. Young kids think that most things are fun, so making strong positive connections with learning tasks is a great way to get them excited about school in the future.

Why is Playtime Important for Preschoolers?

You might not realize it, but play allows your child to learn about the world while they explore and test their limits. At the same time, they are doing something that makes them happy or entertained. Their favorite make-believe character during role-play, the earthworm they find on the ground, or the fact that mom doesn’t like it when they yell inside the house are all things they learn from it. Getting your child to play helps them learn about their skills and how to connect with others and their environment.

Play lets kids make and explore a world they can control, which helps them overcome their fears while practicing being adults, sometimes with the help of other kids or an adult caretaker. As kids learn more about the world around them through play, they pick up new skills that boost their confidence and give them the strength to deal with future difficulties. Kids who play without being told what to do learn how to share, discuss, settle disagreements, and speak up for themselves. When kids are free to choose how they want to play, they learn how to make choices, go at their own pace, find their own interests, and eventually become fully involved in the things they love.

group of preschool children blowing soap bubbles

Why is Balancing Important for Preschoolers?

Those involved with school age programs in Brookeville, MD, have been warned not to plan too much learning and to focus a bit more on playtime for the kids. The reason for this is because schools across the country have cut back on playtime during the day and are more focused on learning. Psychologists who study children have noticed that kids’ lack of play in elementary school makes them less healthy.

According to research, play is good for kids’ growth and learning all the way through school. But bigger kids play in different ways than younger kids do. For kids, play gets more complicated as they grow up. As play gets more complicated, kids grow mentally, physically, and socially. So, all kids must be able to play planned and unplanned games during and after school.

Playing outside during regular break times is good for kids because it helps them stay mentally healthy, stay physically fit, and do better in school. When kids have more breaks, they do better in school, play more sports, and feel better emotionally. Big-body play is a great way to calm down a class that is getting antsy, and kids pay more attention when they get to move around.

Tips on Balancing Playtime and Learning for Preschoolers

As a parent, you want to make sure that your child has a good mix of free, exploratory play and learning tasks that are right for their age and stage of development. You can help your child learn and have fun at the same time by following these tips.

Visit Local Museums

Structured tasks for learning don’t have to be boring or hard! Learning that goes well often feels like play. When did you last take your kid to a science center, art gallery, or kids’ museum? Most of the time, these businesses have places that are just for kids. Since the state or national government often helps pay for these museums, most of the activities are meant to meet the learning standards for a certain age group. What might your child enjoy? Ask a worker if you don’t know where to start. After that, just watch them learn.

preschooler at the library looking at books with her mom or teacher

Books Can Serve as Rewards

When a parent presents a new book to their child, they know that they might have to read that story hundreds of times. Reading the same book multiple times is a great way for parents to bond with their kids and teach them new things. Reading her a special book is a great way to thank her for putting her toys away. Or, read to kids as they wind down and get ready for bed to help them make the change. Set aside certain books as “night-night books” to get kids excited about going to bed. They will soon love reading as they get better at recognizing letter shapes and practicing letter sounds.

Final Thoughts

Play is an important part of childhood that helps kids grow and develop and gives parents a chance to spend quality time with their kids. However, many things are working together to make it harder for many kids to get the benefits of play. Brookeville child care center employees do everything they can to create the best environment for kids to grow and learn by balancing playtime and learning.

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