November 11, 2021
For most of us, learning is something we do in a classroom or by reading books. But what if we could learn through play? What if the education system was designed to be more like games and less like school?
A free & structured play is enjoyed by all age groups. Learning through play brings meaning, joy, social interaction and engagement among individuals and peers. Play brings creativity and helps in problem solving. Learning through play helps children’s social emotional development. Play also helps children in developing balance, coordination, fine motor muscle strengthening & sensory stimulation.
How Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) could take place in the classroom and school?
Play helps children to manage emotions, get along with others, and focus. A seasoned educator and Principal of MVJ International School, Vamsheepriya Amar sees today’s students have to build skills of the future. Schools that implement SEL programs have a positive impact on the success of children because they help them manage everyday life.
What point will kids get to learn through play?
Vamsheepriya Amar suggests that teachers should promote a non-competitive and stress free environment by using tools like “S-AREP” – Self-Awareness, Self- Reflection, Self-Evaluate and Self-Progress. This would motivate children to do self-assessment like SWOT in a conducive environment.
What are bottlenecks for teachers to implement play in classrooms?
Vamsheepriya Amar believes that teachers can be trained to implement corner play by playing with typical materials found in each corner and then reflecting on the competencies children acquire from exploring the material independently or with a friend. Resources such as a simple daily schedule that builds in time for play, a good set of toys, games, and other hands-on learning materials can help teachers begin to manage a play-based learning environment.
Several research points that play could be an essential strategy for learning. It creates a positive environment in a classroom and ignites inquiry based learning. However, some questions that one needs to look up are – Can complete education be relied on play based? and How could one implement it?
Children learn best when it’s fun. That’s why having toys that encourage pretend play is important, like stuffed animals and animal figures. These types of toys help kids develop language skills, creative thinking, cause-and-effect reasoning, and much more. The field of education is rapidly evolving to meet the needs of today’s learners, with technology playing a major role in this change. As teachers and parents become more familiar with educational apps or kits and how they can be used to enhance play-based learning, we will likely see an increase in their use.
Santosh Avvannavar, Education Journalist at QtSTEAM & Mentor at QtPi Robotics