Having fun and playing is actually educational.
You already know children love to play, but did you know that young children are actually wired to learn from play?
Play isn’t just something enjoyable for kids. It’s a vital educational tool that helps with their lifelong development. Their brains are made to experience the world in a playful way.
Children are born with 100 billion neurons. During the first few years of life, the brain goes through a variety of changes as children go through various experiences. As children begin to learn new things, the number of synapses per neuron increases, going from 2,500 to around 15,000 by age 3.
The way children form these vital connections is important. For instance, in one study, children who were given specific instructions on how to interact with a toy only learned one thing that the toy did and they became bored quickly.
The second group of children were allowed to freely play and experiment with the toy. The result was an exploration of all the things the toy could do and highly engaged children.
To read more about important learning windows, how children are wired to learn from play and how unstructured play is an important companion to structured learning, visit the SimplyFun blog article, “How Young Children Are Wired To Learn From Play”.