The Endless Possibilities of Play for
Play is one of the most important ways that children learn about the world. When children play with adults and other children, they learn how to get along with others, to problem solve, and how to communicate and use language effectively.
Play is the way children learn new skills, and language is one of the most important skills that children learn while they play.
Play develops as children develop. First they might put everything in their mouth, or just throw toys. This is their way of experimenting and learning how different objects feel and taste.
Next they build with blocks and play with cars and trains. They learn that different objects go together, and that objects have names, and you can play with them in a variety of different ways. While playing, children can learn nouns (the names of things), verbs (what objects do or action words) and how to describe. They learn to explore objects and see how they feel, where you can put them and how big or small they are. Parents play a very important role in giving their child the words they need. When you join in play with your child, you can provide these important words.
Play doesn’t require expensive materials. Pots and pans, a blanket for “peek-a-boo”, and a basin with water or rice are wonderful tools for play and language development. Parents are the best toys, and children will learn a lot of language when they share play activities with their parents. More about Language and Play can be found in this presentation (pdf).
The Power of Play: Creating Opportunities for Speech & Language Development for Parents of Preschoolers
The Power of Play: Creating Opportunities for Speech & Language Development for Parents of Preschoolers (ages 2 1/2 – 4) is an e-learning course to provide parents with information on how play skills and peer interaction skills develop, the link between pretend play, cognitive, and language development, and practical strategies for promoting your child’s understanding and use of language within playful activities at home.