School at Home Daily Tip: Don't Forget to Play

With all of the demands of schooling at home, it can be easy to lose sight of one very important thing: play. But we are here to remind you that play is very important. 

By Momentous Institute | Apr 10, 2020
Dont Forget Play

With all of the demands of schooling at home, it can be easy to lose sight of one very important thing: play. But we are here to remind you that play is very important. Play isn’t something extra to learning – play is learning.

Through play, children learn to problem-solve, think creatively, and manage their emotions. They use their imagination. They move their bodies.

Consider adding unstructured play time into your day. If you find that play has gone away from your routine, find a way to squeeze it back in.

Try a balance of time you play with your child and time they play by themselves. If you have multiple children in the home, mix opportunities for independent play and group play.

Allow the child to lead the way. Tell the child that it’s time to play and see what they gravitate towards. Perhaps they want to play with toys, or they may want to do imaginative play, such as dress up or role playing. See where they naturally go and follow their lead.

If a child has a hard time coming up with what to play, provide two options. Remain flexible – they may choose to play a board game, and then halfway through completely change the rules of the game and make up a new idea. Allow them to take the lead and see where the play goes.

Always give a warning before it’s time to move on to a new activity. No child wants to be told they have to stop playing without warning!

It’s important that children have plenty of opportunities to move their bodies, so consider a mix of play that includes movement. If you have access to outdoor space, let them run around, play a sport, do hopscotch or come up with their own active idea. If outdoor space is not available, consider fun indoor games. A few ideas include:

  • Indoor bowling using non-fragile household items (empty plastic containers, lightweight toys or blocks) and a soft bowling ball or a pair of socks rolled together to form a ball
  • “Simon Says” or another mimic game where the motions get progressively sillier
  • A role-playing game such as pirates, superheroes, barnyard animals, detective, or any other activity that gets kids moving around the home

Play is an essential element of childhood. In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to provide opportunities for children to have fun and play. 

For more school at home daily tips, click here.