Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Learning through Play

There is nothing more wonderful than seeing a child at play.  Witnessing the moment when your little one begins to make sense of their environment is magical.  They come to realise that they can manipulate their surroundings and quickly their imaginations develop and play takes on a whole new deeper meaning.  Physical, mental and social development comes through play.  Confidence and self awareness grows. This natural process starts from the moment your precious baby focuses on the world around him and continues through their childhood journey and beyond.

Freddy is now 18 months old and a whirling dervish of high jinx.  He finds entertainment in anything he can lay his hands on!  Just today Daddy's 46" Plasma TV took the place of his Aquadoodle Mat when he decided to scribble all over the screen with a yellow crayon!  His bucket of Toy Story 3 plastic soldiers are tipped out daily so that he can wear the bucket as a hat.  Bricks are balanced on the radiators in elaborate architectural designs and his sister's Jessie doll is made to dance along the stair gate under his own imaginative choreography.  Footballs in the garden can be kicked, thrown, rolled down the slide or chased after whilst screeching with sheer delight as they bounce away from his grasping hands unexpectedly. He experiments with things, testing toys to the limits, flipping his Sit n Ride over so he can examine the wheels and see how they turn.  Be it indoors or outdoors, Freddy finds the fun in everything and faces the challenges of being a toddler full on.

Looking closely at his activities, I can see the cognitive processes whirring through his brain as he makes connections, develops his understanding and starts to make sense of the world around him. He counts his bricks repeating "One, Doo, Thwee" as he pops them in a line on his bedroom carpet.  He rams cars into the back of his big truck learning about space and shape (and getting frustrated that he can't just keep pushing his little vehicles into the trailer...sadly the laws of physics can not be altered however hard he tries!).  He hugs his teddy and exercises his nurturing nature, learning social skills as he passes teddy round for us all to cuddle in turn.  His enthusiastic babbling will soon be honed into more coherent speech as he gives us a running commentary on his antics.  His scribbles (which today were on the telly) will evolve into more deliberate markings before becoming emergent writing.  As he sits on his beanbag and pours through the pages of his board books, and points with his chubby little fingers at pictures that catch his eye, I can just imagine him as a schoolboy reading the latest must-read kids' book.  My little man, without even knowing it, is learning.  Learning through play.


This post is my entry into the March Tots 100 Blog Hop. (which I was completely delighted to win!!!)

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