Don't Underestimate the Power of Play: 3 Benefits of Free Play in School
Often when we think of public school we think of children sitting at their desks, dutifully doing their work. Although there is much to be said about academic achievement and the personal discipline it takes to stay on task in school, there is also much to be said about the power of play. According to Teach Thought, a child playing with a toy such as a block for only 15 minutes can help them learn important concepts such as mathematical and spatial principles, even if they don’t realize they are learning. Free play is an important part of the learning process for young children, so let’s look at some of the benefits of free play.
1. New Discoveries
One of the most important aspects of free play is the opportunity for discovery. While children are playing they have a very unique opportunity to discover new things. This is not always true of assigned tasks. If a child feels that they have been assigned a task, they often simply want to get through it, which goes for chores or school assignments.
When they feel that they are being made to do something, their power of discovery is turned off to some degree. However, when they believe they're playing and that they're free to do what they want with their spare time, the element of discovery is turned on. During this time, children will make discoveries that they could not have made under other circumstances.
2. Social Interactions
When children are given the opportunity to play with other children they're being given the chance to learn very important social skills. Skills such as turn-taking, sharing, problem-solving, and empathy are all hard at work during playtime. It may seem that children are just wasting time and goofing off, but as they interact with one another, they're also learning how to interact with one another and how to be a part of a group.
3. Academic Skills
Just because it’s playtime doesn’t mean that academic skills can’t be reinforced as well. There are plenty of games and toys that can help children learn valuable lessons. For instance, playing store or restaurant gives children the opportunity to play with money and learn important counting skills.
If you're looking for excellent public school options for your children, consider charter schools. Charter schools provide parents with the best of both worlds; an excellent academic experience for their children for free and the ability to play. Give us a call today to see our enrollment availability!