Play-based activities, as the name suggests, are a fun way of learning. Play-based learning is aimed at developing a child’s cognitive skills, motor skills, and social and emotional skills. Gone are the days where pre-schoolers begin with learning alphabets, colors, rhymes, or numbers from the book/board. Play-based activities also teach children alphabets, colors, rhymes, and numbers, but in a fun way where the children don’t feel the pressure of learning.
Having said that, do we need to mention the benefits? Developing a child’s emotional quotient is far more important in early childhood and activity-based learning does just that. There are so many activities to involve your 3-year-olds and we have handpicked the top 5. Here you go.
1. Physical playful activities
Physical play like climbing, running, throwing tops the charts. Children must be allowed lots of physical play which helps them in improving their gross motor skills. They learn to balance and gain confidence in risk-taking activities. Also, they get to explore mother nature satisfying their already inquisitive nature that inculcates a feeling of independence. Ensuring a safe, protective environment in case they fall is important. The bonus, they get to play under the sky, in nature, breathing fresh air, and sweating out.
2. Getting messy
The second in our list of activity-based learning is getting messy. Children love getting messy either indoor or outdoor. Water colours, drawing paints, etc opens up their imagination and creativity. This is the base of writing alphabets/numbers in the future. They will learn to hold their pen/pencils in the future if they can learn to hold their pain brush or other drawing tools. Other indoor activities like playing with colored rice or play dough or jelly improve their sensory skills, hand-eye coordination, and provides a calming effect on children. Getting messy outdoor includes playing in the sand, water, mud, etc. Gardening can be inculcated in children as young as 3 years old. Teach the children to plant, water, and watch them grow, and flower. It gives them a sense of having created a new life.
3. Games like bingo, puzzles, building blocks,and other small board games
While Bingo helps with learning numbers and letters, puzzles help with motor skills. While simple board games teach them calculations, building blocks teach them logical reasoning. All these games teach patience while waiting for their turn apart from numbers, calculations, color recognition, and logical reasoning.
4. Nature walk
Another exciting play-based learning activity is organizing a nature walk for your younger ones. A walk by nature – along a seashore, garden, or a park, pointing out various things, animals, birds, or insects we see, naming them, and telling a lot more information about them like their color, their nature, etc goes a long way not only in improving their vocabulary but also their imaginative skills.
5. Sorting games
Sorting a box full of toys, blocks, buttons according to their size, color or shapes or finding the missing pair. This not only helps them identify similar objects but improves their motor skills and cognitive memory.
The list of play-based activities given here are not exclusive, but the top 5 that helps in the initial stages of learning. There are many more such activities like cleaning together, organizing, role-playing, dancing, singing, imaginative play, etc. Give a child a cardboard box or cooking utensils, they can play with them too. Explore the world through their eyes and experience a beautiful world.