This article sharing some of our favorite ways to learn through play was sponsored by Genius of Play but all opinions and stories shared are my own.
Most days at our house are busy. I often have a tight schedule to get all the things finished I need to each day, that’s life. Since we homeschool, I think often about giving my children the opportunity to be well-rounded, not just educationally, but with all the opportunities they are given. Both Bryan and I realize the importance of playing being just as important as all other opportunities they are have. Having the opportunity to be a child and have free play is so vital to their development as individuals as they grow.
Actually play helps in just more than an enjoyable pastime, it helps children develop physically, emotionally, and socially. It helps children their cognitive skills, foster creativity and develop their communication skills. Who knew play time could be so important right? But as a mom of four, I see these traits being fostered in my children each and every day.
With active play they learn coordination, fine tune their motor skills and balance. Emotions run high when kids play, sometimes the room is full of giggles and laughter and other times tears and jealousy. During play they learn to share, work out differences and work on controlling their temperament, even when things aren’t going their way. Playing lets them develop socially, learning to work together and be a team player.
Those creative wheels just turn and turn as they use their imaginations to play builders, take adventures and live all kinds of stories. They learn to think and reason, even communicate through play. So all around, play is a great thing that our children need. We try to incorporate play time into learning time as well.
With homeschooling, it is amazing the ways you can make learning fun and turn play time into something educational! Below are some of our recent ways we used “play” while learning.
- Lava in a jar – This was such a fun experiment. The kids had a great time mixing the oil and water, adding their food coloring and then watching the fun as it fizzled and bubbled.
- Marshmellow sculptures – Considering they were able to play with and eat marshmallows, they were in heaven. This allowed them to really think as to how they could create not just shapes, but three dimensional shapes brought to life.
- Straw Sculpture – The kids had fun trying to figure out how they could connect the straws to create triangles, square and and other shape they could make work. It was simple and so much fun!
- Fireworks in a jar – Being be fans of fireworks, when I even suggested this one they were excited! Again with just a few simple things they were able to have so much fun, and this is one we did over and over.
- Tie-Dye Coffee Filters
- Self Portratits
- Homemade Map
- DIY Volcanos
These ideas are just a start! The amazing people at Genuis of Play have compiled a list of about 100 different ideas that can help you turn simple moments into those much-needed times of play.