How Guided Play Enhances Early Childhood Learning
It is no secret that young children learn best through play. But in today's society, there is an increasing pressure on educators to adhere to strict curriculums and academic standards. As a result, less and less time is being devoted to free play in the classroom.
However, research has shown that guided play is actually more beneficial for early childhood learning than traditional teaching methods. Guided play is an important part of early childhood education. It allows children to explore and learn at their own pace, while still receiving the support and guidance of a teacher.
What Exactly is Guided Play?
Guided play is a type of play that is guided by an adult or other caregiver. This type of play helps children to learn new skills and concepts in a fun and interactive way. Guided play can take many different forms, depending on the age and abilities of the child. For example, younger children may engage in guided pretend play with puppets or toys, while older children may participate in more structured activities such as arts and crafts projects.
Not only is guided play fun for students of all ages, but it also offers a wealth of benefits. In addition to learning important life skills, students who engage in guided play also develop a stronger sense of self-confidence and self-esteem. As such, it has become an important part of the education framework at modern schools like Chatsworth International School.
One of the interesting guided play activities their Kindergarten 1 students were immersed in was setting up and running a supermarket within their homeroom. The students discussed with their teacher ways in which they could help their community and came up with an idea to give members of the Chatsworth maintenance team one day to "shop" real food at their "Blueberries and Sunshine Supermarket". Each staff member was given tickets to exchange for any of the food items on display. This unique play-based experience would not have been possible without the idea and work from the K1 students, guided by their teacher.
Benefits of Guided Play
Apart from just being plain fun, guided play is also just plain fun! It provides a great opportunity for students to use their imaginations and be creative. Along the way, it allows students to:
Learn new skills
Though it may seem like child's play, guided play is actually an essential part of early childhood development. Through guided play in school, students learn important skills like problem solving, critical thinking, and communication – skills which are better learned beyond the classroom.
When students are given the opportunity to engage in such activities, they are able to learn new skills more effectively. Guided play allows them to explore and experiment with new concepts in a safe and supportive environment. With the help of an adult, they can try out new ideas and practice new skills without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.
Build social skills
During playtime, children are typically actively learning how to interact with others. They practice communication and collaboration skills as they work together towards a common goal. This type of play also helps children develop their problem-solving abilities. As they navigate challenges together, they learn how to think creatively and come up with new solutions.
Guided play provides an opportunity for students to express themselves freely. Through creative exploration, they can discover new ways to interact with the world around them. This type of play fosters imagination and creativity. It also helps them grow their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Develop a love for learning
When children are given the opportunity to explore and play in a safe and structured environment, they can learn so much about the world around them. Students are ultimately in control of their own learning experience as well, so they are able to proceed at their own pace.
Guided play is a concept that has been gaining popularity in early childhood education circles in recent years. And for good reason – it has been shown to be an effective way to help young children develop a love for learning.
The Importance of Guided Play at Chatsworth
When schools adopt a guided play policy, they are providing an educational environment that enhances early childhood learning. Guided play allows students to explore and discover on their own, while still having the support of an adult. This type of play helps children develop important social, emotional, and cognitive skills.
At Chatsworth International School, our teachers are trained in how to use guided play to support the individual needs of each child. We believe that this approach helps our students to thrive academically and socially. From kindergarten to primary to middle school level, our students are able to enjoy a well-rounded education that will prepare them for success in university and beyond. Learn more about our International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes in Singapore, or make an appointment for a campus tour today.