How Children Learn Through Play

Lessons from books are great, but children learn through play far better than they do in other forms. There are several reasons for this. At the heart of it is their desire to learn. When learning is not so much work but is fun, children are more willing to participate. They want to jump in and have a good time. As a parent, the more that you can teach through play, the more that your child will retain later on. While some skills need to be taught formally, such as math facts and reading, there are still great ways to teach through play.

How Kids Learn Through Play

Children learn through various methods, but often their physical and social world teaches them the most. Even small infants learn this way. Parents can enhance a young child’s learning process by giving them a variety of ways to learn through sight, touch, taste and smell. For infants, play the games that children love, such as peek a boo and other interactions that teach cause and effect. It also teaches them how to interact socially with their families.

As children grow older, they still need stimulation. Remember, kids having fun gives them an added incentive to do the activity you want them to. Pretend play is one of the core elements of the development of imagination. Pack up a truck full of great costumes (you can pick these up very inexpensively after Halloween) and encourage both boys and girls to play. What you will find is that many of the role playing games they play now are direct reflections of the experiences they have had. For example, a child who may be going to daycare for the first time, may practice leaving her baby doll at a pretend daycare. The act is helpful, but the conversations they have of telling the doll that “mommy will be back very soon” will help them later to deal with their fears of being left. Encourage this type of play.

Child’s play through the years changes even more so. During preschool and kindergarten, one of the best ways to teach a child is through stories and pictures. They learn to interact with each other as well as with the outside world. For example, set the stage for a great adventure story. Read them the story during the morning hours. Then, give them a few ideas and let them act out the story in their own way. You can teach many of the fundamentals in this manner, everything from manners to helping those in need.

Other activities to encourage helping children learn through play include:

  • Craft projects: they explore their talents and explore texture, dimension, color and shapes
  • Dance: They explore their physical bodies and stay physically fit
  • Building with blocks: Everything from wooden blocks to Lego’s helps children to learn structure, dimension, balance, and help them to grow their imagination.
  • Drawing: Use various types of mediums from paints to pencil to help them to learn numbers, letters, shapes and much more

These activities can incorporate other skills, too. For example, perhaps an art project can center around a specific letter of the alphabet. Do not be elaborate, but do be dramatic.

Kids having fun is something you definitely want to consider for the long term. For example, children who are nine years old and up need to develop great reasoning skills and need to learn to think strategically. They also need to develop good social skills. Great ways for kids having fun through these lessons can be anything from fun science projects to advanced building sets done in teams and even 3-D puzzles. Encourage computer projects and video games as well. Unbelievably, the video game they love to play is teaching them great hand eye coordination (assuming that the content within it is appropriate.)

How children learn through play is really up to you, their parent. Encouraging them to play, pretend, and learn all go hand in hand. The skills most children learn at these early ages are not just their math facts and their ABC’s, but they are the foundations of how to learn, how to interact with other people, and how to explore, reason and strategize. These items will carry on with them throughout their lives.

Ivana Katz of Kids Universe says she is old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again, as she rides camels, swims with dolphins and often embarrasses her son. If you want to join her on adventures and find things to do with kids, join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KidsUniverse

Things To Do in Sydney With Kids – Top 7 Playgrounds

If you are wondering what to do in Sydney with kids this weekend, then why not plan a trip to a new playground you haven’t been to before.   Your children will be excited to explore new places and you can sit back, relax and maybe even enjoy a quiet coffee.

The following are some of Sydney’s best playgrounds, as they offer plenty of stimulation for the children, but also all the comforts and amenities for the parents.

Clontarf Reserve Playground
Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf
Clontarf Reserve is located on Sydney’s northern beaches and a great place to visit for the whole family. The playground is shaded and is suitable for kids 0-12 years of age.  For the parents, there is a kiosk, which serves hot food as well as ice cream, cakes and coffee,.  The park has plenty of seating and free BBQs as well as a bubbler and showers. In summer it is ideal for swimming for even young children as there are now waves and at low tide shallow water.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids - Clontarf Reserve

Flying Fox (Winnererremy Bay) Playground
Mona Street, Mona Vale
This excellent playground has recently been upgraded with new play equipment.  It is suitable for kids of all ages and includes an adventure trail with stone carvings of sea creatures , flying fox, space net, snakes and ladders and spring rockers and many others. Flying Fox Café is located right next to the enclosed playground so parents can keep an eye on the kids.  Free BBQs and shaded tables  are also nearby as is a great bike/scooter track.  Children will also enjoy seeing pelicans wandering nearby.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids - Flying Fox

Bicentennial Park Playground
Australia Avenue, Homebush
Bicenennial Park offers something for the young and old.  Children will enjoy exploring the adventure playground with sandpit, slide, climbing frame, swings and shade sails or riding their scooters or bikes on the many bike / pathways.  A great water play area is also located in the park, where kids can run and splash for hours.   Lilies Café is located near the playground and serves great coffee, lunches, drinks, ice creams and cakes.  You can also hire a bike from the bike hire shop located next to the café.  Free BBQs, tables and seating are located next to the playground, so bring sausages for an easy lunch.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids - Bicentennial Playground

Darling Harbour Playground
Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour
A very popular family spot, Darling Harbour Playground has lots of fun play equipment for kids of all ages.  There is plenty of seating for parents and lots of cafes right next to the playground as well as toilets.  Bring a towel and change of clothes for the kids, as the playground offers several water features.  Also very popular among the kids is a large spider web, slides and sand equipment.  McDonalds is located right next to the playground, so lunch is easily taken care of.  For older kids, there is plenty of green space and ping pong tables.

Things To Do in Sydney - Darling Harbour Playground

Collaroy Beach Playground
Pittwater Road, Collaroy
This enclosed shaded playground is suitable for children from 1 to 8 years of age.   For older children, there is plenty of green open space, where they can run and play. Several BBQs and tables are located inside the playground area.  For coffee, ice cream or lunch there are several takeaway shops and cafes across the road. Toilets and showers are located next to the carpark. During summer you can swim at the patrolled beach and if you have young kids, there is a great rockpool.

Things To Do In Sydney With Kids - Collaroy Beach Playground

Dee Why Beach Playground
Griffin Road, Dee Why
Dee Why Beach has become a very popular family spot due to its recent upgrade. There are 2 excellent playgrounds – one at the southern end, with plenty of tables and seating, making it ideal for families with young children. And another smaller playground is located near the large car park, behind Dee Why Surf Club.  For older kids, there is an oval, where they can play cricket or just kick the ball.  Dee Why Beach has lots of excellent cafes, restaurants and a gelato bar with delcious ice cream and coffee.  There are a couple of toilet and shower blocks nearby, as well as a rockpool.

Things To Do in Sydney With Kids - Dee Why Beach

Cook Park Playgrounds
General Holmes Drive, Rockdale
Cook Park stretches for 8 kilometres along the western foreshore of Botany Bay  It is a fantastic family spot as it offers everything one needs for a great day out.  Several playgrounds offer great entertainment for kids and a long walkway/bike track for children to ride their scooters, rollerblades or bikes.  You will also find BBQs, showers, change rooms, picnic shelters and seating, toilets in several spots.  Grab a coffee, snack or lunch in one of the many great cafes and restaurants located in the park or across the road.  For those wishing to get some exercise, the length of the park offers a great walkway / bike track, where children can ride their bikes, scooters, skateboards or rollerblade. During summer you can swim at the sheltered Brighton Le Sands beach, which is located right next to the park. As the park opposite Sydney Airport, kids will enjoy watching planes take off and land.

Things To Do In Sydney With Kids - Cook Park

Maroubra Beach Playground
Marine Parade, Maroubra
For young kids, Maroubra Beach has a great enclosed and shaded playground and for older children, there is a fun Skate Park, where kids can ride their skateboards, scooters and bikes.  As the playground is located right next to Maroubra Beach, during summer you can take a dip in the ocean, while the kids build sandcastles.  A kiosk and café are located near the Maroubra Surf Club, where you will also find toilets and showers.  The park has several free BBQs and sheltered tables with seating.

Things To Do In Sydney With Kids - Maroubra Beach

Ivana Katz of Kids Universe says she is old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again, as she rides camels, swims with dolphins and often embarrasses her son. If you want to join her on adventures and find things to do with kids, visit www.KidsUniverse.com.au  join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KidsUniverse