Last month I wrote about how Juro is adjusting to school life. We’re still figuring things out as of present but somehow discovered what works for us–we give our kids play time even on school days.
The other week one of my kids’ school sent a survey regarding educational goals. To be honest I just want my kids to enjoy school, learn skills they need in life and put these skills to good use. Interestingly, while I was doing research on how I can encourage my kids to enjoy the process of learning, I got reminded of the benefits of play & how it can help my kids learn better.
Here’s Juro drawing & doodling after finishing his homework.
We noticed Juro is more eager to study knowing he gets to play (or draw) after. The more we deprive him of play time, the more his mind wanders while studying.
It may sound counter-intuitive to let kids play almost as much as they study but there are tons of studies to back this. In Finland, students take a 15-minute outdoor play for every 45 minutes of classroom time. This is essentially a reset button that helps avoid school burnout.
I don’t want my kids to wake up one day and say they dread going to school. So as much as we can, my husband & I try to create a balanced environment at home.
One to two hours of studying after school is how it usually is at our home. After my kids are done studying, they get to play for an hour while I prepare dinner.
On weekdays he doesn’t get to play with his iPad. So he gets creative and makes his own arcade games at home.
Here’s Juro last week, eagerly playing with the game he created using recycled materials (old cardboard box, old plastic containers). He calls this “throw the ball” game inspired by the skee ball machine. He taped the old plastic containers on the cardboard and made a ball from a modelling clay. Just throw the ball from a distance and when it goes in the plastic you earn points. Viola, instant game!
“Don’t hit the lady” game inspired by the whack a mole machine. Juro used the lids of the plastic containers for this. He drew monsters and ladies and stick them on it lids. Then used his old wooden mallet. The objective of the game is for you to hit the monsters and avoid the ladies. They rotate every once in a while so you gotta have fast hands!
This game requires an extra set of hands so the characters can rotate. That’s where I come in because I’m the extra hand. Heehee.
Sharing with you some benefits of play and its effects on the learning brain.
BENEFITS OF PLAY
Better brain size, better early development. Playing enhances children’s adjustments, language and social & emotional stability from 33% to 67%
Smarter, faster learning and better memory. In one study, children offered toys in infancy have higher IQ in age 3 and again in age 4.5
More creative. Free play enhances divergent thinking, pretend play requires imagining and encourages creativity.
Better communication, vocabulary and language. Playing especially pretend play improves speaking and understating.
Greater impulse control and emotion regulation. Kids who play have better self-regulation skills. Self-regulation is essential for a child’s academic as well as social success.
Greater social competence, more empathy and happier. Play provides opportunities for children to learn social interactions. Whilst playing together, children learn to cooperate, follow rules, develop self-control, and generally get along with other people. Playful children are happier, better adjusted, more cooperative and more popular with their peers than those who play less.
Better health. Physical play activities benefit physical health, motor control, strength and endurance, Effective emotion control benefits mental health.
Life lesson learning. Playing life’s problems can help children cope with the struggles in their own ways. Play is also a useful tool for children to rehearse skills and future social roles in a safe context.
I love spending time with my kids. Even though I have tons of chores to finish and work to do, I drop them everything the second they ask me to play. Because they’ll only be kids once & I want to spend as much time with them as I can.
Better relationship. Playing is an excellent way to bond. Happy playful moments in children are some of the most precious we can give.
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Play time is often times also snack/milk time. I don’t know if it’s just me but I still feel giddy whenever I prepare Juro a glass of Promil Four® milk. He still drinks me 2-3 times a day.
I partnered with a milk that believes in proper parenting, proper caring and proper nutrition. These three pillars are essential in guiding us parents when it comes to raising our kids to secure a successful future. I believe injecting playtime to my kids’ school-centered day whilehaving playful moments. This is just some of the ways I show how much I care for them. While preparing them balanced meals and letting them drink milk is my way of providing proper nutrition.
There are so many information readily available online when it comes to parenting. Check out https://www.nurturenetwork.com.ph it has different articles that can help you nurture your child’s gifts. You can also ask experts when you join the community.