For Physical Development

"Tip 174: March 2023 - Children Learn Thru Play "
   March, 2023

Educational Tip for Physical Development

Research has shown that young children learn more and at a greater speed
during their early childhood years than at any other time in their lives.
Learning of some kind is going on in every child every waking moment of
every day. Adults should be aware that children learn thru play. By
exploring and discovering through play children construct concepts about
the world and themselves. The more children see and do, the more they
learn. To teach children to do things for themselves is not only rewarding
but helps to build confidence.

Infants: Sock Balls

Collect old socks from friends and wash them. Roll them up into big and
little sock balls. Put a basket of the sock balls out and offer infants 6
to 12 months old the opportunity to toss them into the basket. These soft
sock balls are a good first try for tosses that go astray more than they
hit their target, the reward is really in just the tossing.

Toddlers: Cars, Trucks, Trains

Place an assortment of cars, trucks, and trains in a shallow plastic tub
with a small amount of soapy water. Observe how the child 18 to 24 months
moves them in the water. Provide a spray bottle filled with soapy water, a
washcloth, and a scrub brush. Talk about what you are seeing and how the
child is washing the toys. This activity can be extended outside to clean
the riding toys.

Preschoolers: Jokes, Riddles, Silly Rhymes

It’s important to encourage a sense of humor in preschoolers. This can be
done by teaching them about jokes, riddles like “knock, knock ones” and
silly rhymes. Many of these may be found in books such as “Laugh Out Loud
Jokes” by Rob Elliott or “The Hans Wilhelm Treasury of Jokes.” Another
author with more than twenty books of jokes, riddles and tongue twisters
for children is Joseph Rosenbloom such as the “Biggest Riddle Book in the
World” and “Giggles, Gags & Groaners.”

Adults need no special talent, only an environment conducive to the
process. They do need to know the important rule that applies to all
endeavors “ The process is always more important than the product.
Adults can help children make up silly rhymes both indoors, outdoors or in
a car using the words from nursery rhymes. Children
should repeat activities often and in different ways. This is how they
learn. Familiar activities build self-confidence. The more successful
children feel the more motivated they are to try and learn new things.

“Play is children’s work; it allows for practice, and dealing with

(John Dewey)