What You Need To Know About Play, Preschools, And Child Development

How can preschools help children to learn and develop through play? Even though play may not seem like a learning tool, these activities can help your child to build basic skills. If you're not sure how learning and play go hand-in-hand, take a look at what you need to know about your preschooler's day.

Can Play Build Academic Skills?

Your child doesn't need worksheets and flashcards to build early literacy, math, or other similar skills. Play-based experiences provide a hands-on way for your child to develop academic abilities. These activities can reinforce concepts and help your child to learn in an engaging way.

While there are a countless number of ways early educators help young children to build academic skills through play, prime examples include:

  • Block area play. It may seem like your child is randomly placing one block on top of another. But your preschooler is really learning about basic geometry (shapes), counting, and spatial reasoning concepts.
  • Dress-up area play. When your preschooler dresses up and acts out their favorite stories, they're building early literacy skills. Not only can they translate a beloved book into their own play, but your child can learn about the narrative structure, characters, and story settings.
  • Art area play. The visual arts can extend into almost every other content area in the pre-k classroom — including traditional academic types of content. Whether your child learns new art-related vocabulary or they play with patterns (math), they're able to build new skills daily.

Even though blocks, dress-up, and the visual arts are popular pre-k activities that can help children to develop basic academic skills, these aren't the only ways preschoolers use play to learn. Music, gross motor, and other common pre-k classroom activities may also include elements of literacy, math, and more.

What Other Areas of Development Can Play Help to Build?

Along with academics such as literacy and math, play can also help your child to build other skills. Play-based preschool classroom activities can also help your young child to develop:

  • Gross motor skills. Movement activities, dance, and sports/games can help your child to build large muscle strength, balance, and coordination.
  • Fine motor skills. Block building, art, and any other play activity that pushes your child to use their hands can help to build fine motor skills such as dexterity, eye-hand coordination, and finger strength.
  • Creativity. Art, music, movement, dress-up/dramatic play, and even free play times can promote creativity and help your child to use their imagination, develop critical-thinking skills, and get creative.

To learn more about how your child's preschool uses play to help the young students learn and grow, ask the teacher for more information about the center's curriculum and daily classroom activities.

Reach out to a preschool, such as Small World Early Learning & Development Center, for more information.