If you have ever had a discussion about home schooling versus public schooling as a parent, you've probably talked or heard about how important the social aspect of education is at every level of learning. The school system doesn't just offer opportunities for academia but, and some might even argue more importantly, social interaction as well.
Development through social interaction isn't just important at a primary and secondary level either; play time for pre-schoolers and in early childhood institutions is one of the most important parts of these early learning experiences.
Learning a wide range of skills through play
There are a number of important skills that are developed during playtime. Social interaction, educational toys and exploring their surroundings are all crucial for a child's interpersonal, critical thinking skills and personality development.
Physical skills are also honed during this time. Playing with building blocks to throwing and catching balls increase hand-eye coordination, dexterity and motor skills.
Language is developed through communicating with parents, teachers and peers. Reading time at home leads to improved speaking skills which are then taken further at pre-school or when spending time with friends on play dates. Language is crucial for improving social skills and learning to cooperate with others. Without these skills a lot of children find it very difficult to fit in and relate with others, not only in primary and secondary education, but all aspects of life.
Parenting and early childhood development
As a parent you are responsible for laying out the groundwork for all of these skills through play. It's your influence that will have the biggest impact. It's a daunting prospect, but don't worry! Love, caring and attention are the most important ingredients to a healthy and happy childhood.
Early childhood education is a good way to develop these skills learned at home further. Interaction on a regular basis with peers and teachers encourages extroverted social skills and a better ability to communicate and cooperate effectively with others. It's in the preschool environment that the aspects of play and learning are fused together almost seamlessly.
Encourage and facilitate playtime
These early skills are the fundamental building blocks for a successful and well-rounded future in learning and development. Learning doesn't have to be and shouldn't be boring, especially at such a young age. Encourage your child to grow and develop through playtime and ensure they have all the opportunities that they require socially at a preschool or early child care facility.