Playing is a way to learn about society
“Playing helps children to develop emotionally by teaching them, for example, to identify different emotions and control them. Strategic thinking and problem-solving skills also benefit from having to think up ways to move the game forward by reflecting on each situation and deciding whether more toys, for example, are needed”, Siklander explains.
Studies show that role-playing is extremely important for learning. Playing gives children an opportunity to put themselves in different positions and take turns seeing things from the perspectives of both leaders and followers.
“Even the planning of the scenario and roles is a learning experience, as it requires children to use their previous experience, understanding and knowledge of the subject. Playing itself is an opportunity to accumulate new knowledge through others”, Siklander says.
Playing is an active form of learning
The physical aspects of playing challenge both body and mind and give children feedback on their own endurance and ability. Playing gives children an opportunity to learn new things.
“Children see playing as an active form of entertainment. Watching television, for example, is not the same as playing. Playing gives children stimuli that excite them and keep them motivated.”
Brain research shows that human beings function holistically and that physical activity also stimulates the mind. The importance of movement therefore cannot be emphasised enough and should be incorporated into the learning process.
“We all know how a little bit of exercise can suddenly help you to come up with a solution to a problem that has been on your mind for a long time. It takes time for the brain to process new information, which is why it is important to keep your whole body active either during or soon after a learning scenario”, Siklander says.