Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Top Tips For Learning Through Play ♥

With the kids off school, now is a great time for letting them learn in different ways from the formal learning methods they're used to in school. Learning through play is a great way of letting the kids have fun, but also learning new skills, topics and all while being happy and entertained.

Great Little Trading Company (GLTC) believe that open-ended play is the secret to keeping little minds stimulated. Toys that are powered by imagination, not batteries will put your child in the driver’s seat and encourage independent play.

My boys have loved role-playing and imaginative play toys since they were small. They love playing restaurants and kitchen, pretending to be grown ups and doing their household chores, pretending to have ice-cream trucks and playing house. It's very sweet to see them play in this way and these little play scenarios of theirs have taught them so much, as well as allowing them to have hours of fun!

If you're wanting to encourage your children to learn through play, here are a few top tips from Great Little Trading Company’s Toy Designer David Blakeson on how to get the most out of your toys at home and encourage learning through play:

1. What’s up copycat? Children are learning all the time, even when you’re cooking dinner, washing up, or cleaning the house. Role play is a brilliant way to let them utilise all those little things they pick up on along the way. Recreating real-life scenarios is a valuable way for children to develop their imagination and social skills. From serving 99s to Daddy from their ice cream shop to dishing up dinner for their siblings from their Play Kitchen – these fun, pretend play activities will exercise their imagination, get them chatting, and encourage them to use their problem-solving skills.

2. Understanding current affairs through play: Playing Doctors is a great way to reassure children that medical professionals will be there for them if they get poorly. Stepping into the role of nurse or doctor themselves gives children the chance to draw on their memory to mimic real life scenarios. It’ll also help them develop empathy as they think up ways to treat different maladies and care for their patients. It’s a wonderful way to help familiarise children with the world of medicine, doctor’s surgeries & hospitals, and in turn make them seem less scary.

3. It’s good to talk: Encouraging children to chat is the holy grail of play. A familiar activity like playing shops gives even the shyest children the courage to make conversation. Personalise their shop by encouraging your children to choose a shop name and spend time creating a sign together. Once you’re finished, set up for the day’s business with a till, some play food, and a shopping trolley, then watch as your little shopkeepers come out of their shell. Playing shops will help them develop their vocabulary as they use and expand on words they’ve heard in the real world. Plus, their listening skills will be put to the test as they practice serving their customers and responding appropriately.

4. Can you tell me a story? Using their creativity to come up with their very own story or play is great for encouraging self-confidence. Set up a theatre in the doorway or behind a sofa and encourage your child to be brave enough to put on a show to an audience, even if it’s just their teddies. This will inspire children to use their imagination, and language skills, as well as help build their confidence.

Toys that allow children to play imaginatively are not simply to entertain children, they nurture their physical and mental development in preparation for the big wide world too and that's a great thing to embrace.

You can check out the full collection of lovely wooden and imaginative play toys at gltc.co.uk.

Thank you to GLTC for these great tips. Hopefully they'll give you some inspiration for encouraging your little ones to learn through play at this time.


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