Early learning years – the benefits of play
Early childhood education and play is crucial in every child’s development. Play at Early years Foundation Stage (EYFS) helps a child’s cognitive development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. Play can take place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world.
Here's the science part
Neuroscientists discovered that using toys, games, and playing can alter a brain’s chemistry and a child’s development. The brain area associated with higher cognitive processing (the cerebral cortex) can benefit from environmental enrichment and children’s play more than other parts of the brain??. An environment filled with play, sensory play, and play toys is perfect for young minds. Lack of play will cause the neuron connections related to play to be lost.
Real life fun!
Children love acting out adults’ real life by pretending to have different job roles. Give them clothes, boxes, old blankets, shoes and ignite a child’s imagination. Children love nothing more than using a stethoscope pretending to be a doctor or lining up animal cuddly toys on a pretend visit to the vets. When children act out life’s problems in pretend-playing, it helps them cope with the struggles in their own ways. It also provides a safe opportunity for children to rehearse skills and future social roles.
Bake a mud pie
A mud kitchen is a replica of a kitchen. Children can mimic everything you would do in a real-life kitchen, replacing food items with mud. Mud kitchens in early years learning promote many areas of learning, including sensory play, independence, creativity, imagination and movement. It’s a great idea to fill a small area of space and shows children how old or broken kitchen utensils and bowls can be repurposed.
Water play provides hours of water sensory fun! Water play helps with motor skills. Actions like pouring, scrubbing, squirting, stirring, and squeezing are all important movements that lead to increased fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Water textures, which can be slippery, wet and slimy, help with sensory skills. Water play is calming for a child. It encourages sharing if they each take turns to participate in the water game. It introduces the child to basic math’s too as they can measure, compare volumes and observe motion.
The perfect Early Years addition
Trim trails are a popular choice amongst all age groups but particularly in the early learning years. They help children develop a range of physical skills. For the youngest, these include things like balance and coordination. The challenges they present and the excitement of trying to overcome them make them irresistible to many children. Introducing a trim trail gives children the apparatus they need to participate in physical activity and, with a range of different equipment, it is possible to get them doing a variety of health benefitting exercises – climbing, swinging, jumping, fast steps, etc. Play equipment that involves physical activities also promotes gross motor skills, strength, endurance, and physical health.
Here at Ace Play Limited we offer an extensive range of equipment suitable for Early Years Foundation Stage