We can’t blame some parents if they feel that playing is nothing more than a distraction to their child’s education. For them, the surest way for children to learn is to send them to school. However, this isn’t always the case.
Playing is as vital to a child’s learning as formal schooling. While lectures on the solar system and reading the analogue clock are crucial lessons in their curriculum, keeping them from enjoying the outdoors hinders them from learning other values that the classroom cannot teach.
Part of education is teaching children the importance of their physical health to acquire presence of mind. According to a study led by Dr Rebecca Duncombe at the University of Loughborough, a third of 45 four-year-olds in her experiment lack motor skills and reflexes. Physical development has a significant effect on their ability to complete simple tasks like reading or sitting, both of which are essential for school.
Giving children opportunities to play in school strengthens their performance in the classroom. Adding something as simple as wooden climbing frames or obstacle installations in the schoolyard urges students to stay active while giving them enough energy to sustain their attention in class the whole day.
An Equal Amount of Play and Work
Critics do agree with the weight of playing in education but disagree with its overarching importance. They believe that a school is still a place for children to learn general subjects and math problems instead of allowing them to sit in the sandbox all day long.
Although playing has been encouraged by educators since the 19th century, juxtaposing it with teaching hard work gives children an excellent foundation for mature and steady growth. Play should not be the vehicle of learning but, rather, a complementary instrument in teaching children social cues and active use of reasoning.
Giving the children the freedom to have fun while maintaining a superb syllabus makes up most of the formative education they need. Finding a healthy balance between outdoor learning and classroom lectures is ideal for a child’s key learning.