Children do not play to learn, but more or less consciously, they learn by playing . At approximately two years of age, they already show a great capacity to fantasize, invent, create, build and turn any event into fun and enjoyment. But the game is not only that, it is much more than just fun. Play is an innate learning tool , since it involves constant interaction with the environment, with other children and with adults.
There are many types of play that can be associated with the different stages that the child goes through in his early childhood.
During the child’s first year and a half or two years, the game is purely sensory-motor , but as they grow and language appears, symbolic play will also appear, in which children will invest all their fantasy capacity to create their their own worlds and at the same time imitate everything they hear or see around them.
Learning by playing: What do boys and girls learn through play?
The game of rules appears a little later, around 4 years of age, because a greater capacity is required to internalize the rules , wait turns, memorize the rules……
Whatever the type, the game is a mental and physical activity that favors the integral development of children and allows them to learn without hardly being aware of it.
For all of the above, it is very important to use the game as a learning methodology , as it is the best way to capture and maintain their attention. The important thing to learn is to feel motivated, and without a doubt the game is one of the main sources of motivation for children.
Next, we explain the five most outstanding benefits of learning by playing :
1. THE GAME ALLOWS US TO ACCEPT AND LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES
The child has the freedom to make decisions that can make him fail or lose, but at the same time it offers him the opportunity to learn from him in a practical way.
As we are in the game dynamic, the child is not as afraid of repercussions as they would be in real life situations. The child can make mistakes, but he learns from his mistakes in a natural and carefree way.
They are learning to face and solve problems that in real life they would be incapable of solving, this helps them gain self-confidence and lose the fear of being wrong.
2. ASSIMILATION OF THEORETICAL CONCEPTS
It is one of the best ways to reinforce what has been learned theoretically and put it into practice, through examples or adapted games, instead of memorizing theoretical concepts.
3. EFFECTIVELY FAVORS COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT:
The cognitive is that related to knowledge and information that is available thanks to experience or a learning process; allowing to better develop the basic capacities of attention, memory, imagination, creativity and logical reasoning.
4. PROMOTES AFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT: SOCIAL SKILLS AND CONFLICT SOLUTION
The game promotes relationships between children by stimulating fellowship and teamwork among them.
Learning through play brings satisfaction, self-control, promotes social skills , conflict resolution, communication skills and increases motivation and responsibility. It also helps loss of shame .
In the games, a series of rules must be known and abide by, which favors respect and the awareness that cooperation is necessary to achieve a goal.
5. GAMBLING PROVIDES PLEASURE AND HAPPINESS
Neural networks are activated when we are happy and relaxed. The game is a fundamental tool that predisposes the child to learn. With the game, the child lives pleasant experiences through the creation of a fantasy world, taking elements from real life and transforming them in such a way that he manages to disconnect and relieve his frustrations .
We must take advantage of what they like to do the most and what brings them the most happiness to adapt it to what we want to teach and in this way we will be guaranteeing learning success.
PLAYING WE LEARN
We can come to the conclusion that by playing we learn . We also learn well, while we enjoy we understand things much better.