What Place Does Fun Have in Learning?
We’ve just wrapped up our series on the “Top Educational Toys”—we had a good time catching up on some cool learning toys. Hey, we were going to go shopping for our kids, nieces, and nephews anyway! But in the course of writing it we never really took the opportunity to talk about why learning by playing is so important.
Kids are simply more receptive to learning when they’re having fun. And lots of experts say that play not only fosters learning but it’s also an essential part of a child’s overall well-being. Play enhances kids’ cognitive capacity when it gives them opportunities for trial and error, problem solving, and decision making while encouraging their participation in a fun, rewarding environment—that’s what makes play both intellectually stimulating and emotionally gratifying.
Resources for Balancing Playing and Learning
A while back one of our regular parent newsletters talked about the importance of play in learning—in that article we offered parents a number of resources to learn more about the subject. I’ll share those links again here in case you missed it.
- Play is key to healthy children, as noted by the National Institute for Play
- The importance of play and learning, from the 360kid blog
- One dad’s view on how playfulness is developed in math learning, from GeekDad on the Wired blog network
- Play and learning is not just for kids, from a CenterNetworks article
- A teacher’s take on learning fun, from the New Teacher Network
- At the heart of play is pleasure, an important component in learning, from Yello Dyno
- Play is a vital sign as noted by the Erikson Institute in Chicago
- Participate in World Math Day on March 4, 2009. Open to individuals or entire classrooms!
You can also read the original newsletter article on our site.