The power of play as an aid to creative learning should not be underestimated. It is a vital part of a child’s development and contributes to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being. For parents, joining in these activities offers the opportunity to fully engage with your child and spend more of that valuable quality time with them.
Sadly, the fast-paced, time-poor world many of us now live in often makes it a challenge for peers and educators to keep nourishing and developing creativity within children. If this natural energy for imaginative play is stifled, it can lead to a fear of failure and ultimately develop into a lack of willingness to try new things.
As parents and family members we can help support a child’s development and promote creativity by adopting a ‘learn-through-play’ approach to the activities they take part in beyond the school gates.
Interactive activities such as role play and storytelling are great examples of how you can encourage your children to be creative, learn and have fun at the same time!
So what are the benefits to creative learning activities and imaginative play?
1) Imagination – Putting ourselves into an imaginary situation is one of the primary ways we are able to explore and gain a better understanding of a concept. This is why young children place natural emphasis on role play.
2) Dexterity – Particularly with toddlers, creative play is crucial to developing the fine motor skills we learn from birth.
3) Physical – Taking part in activities like pretending to be ‘Pirates’ or ‘Explorers’ will hone a child’s balance and other essential physical skills like running and jumping.
4) Cognitive – Play and reading will develop creativity, abstract thinking, problem solving and social cognition (feeling empathy and knowing the right way to behave in social situations).
5) Emotional Strength – When playing, children feel free to express themselves more. Play time can also be a good environment for them to let off steam and reduce tensions (it works for adults too!).
6) Brain Development – A ‘learn-through-play’ activity will teach children to stay focused for longer, as well as improving their ability to concentrate and persevere.
8) Language – For all children interactive play helps develop their communication, vocabulary, and storytelling skills. For younger children it will help aid how they interact with books, and when reading and writing, even though they can’t read and write in the conventional sense.
9) Social Skills – One of the most important benefits to collaborative play. Children will learn about the need to co-operate, share, take turns, resolve conflict and develop leadership skills.
10) Educational – Creative activities that are themed around school subjects provide a meaningful context for children to explore concepts and skills in a fun and enjoyable way, as well as learning from adults and peers.
We want to help all parents, families and even schools get their children involved in creative learning, to find out more visit our extensive range of fun filled activity packs.