A child’s brain needs more stimulation than an adult’s. It’s like a sponge, eager to soak up everything and anything. Age-appropriate games help stimulate a tot’s mind and smarten their overall approach towards life from a very young age.
This is why even the pre-school that you choose for your child’s first steps towards education needs to be one that focuses as much on playing as it does on teaching. Take Beansprouts for instance which believes in providing a playful environment for young minds to explore and learn.
Parents often downplay the importance of playtime, forcing children to study more. But studies have shown that playing, especially role-playing games, board games, puzzles, building blocks, and chess are among the many that help build smart minds. The key is to pique a child’s curiosity and keep them interested in learning even as they play. Here are four games that will make your kids smarter:
According to child health experts and child psychologists unstructured play gives kids a chance to learn different things at the same time. In a fun way, they get to experiment with the world. A recent study found that unstructured play enhances a child’s cooperative skills, helps them gain knowledge through imitation, and learn through the time-tested trial and error method. It can be anything – drawing, skipping, talking, playing in the sand. Pretend play without a pre-set agenda teaches children self-control, how to figure out things for themselves, and also to resolve their differences with others.
The curriculum at a pre-school like Beansprouts takes a dynamic approach to exploratory learning experiences. Its aim is to empower children to love to learn by pursuing what they are interested in.
Board games such as chess, jigsaw puzzles, and building blocks help young minds exercise their brains. While at home it can be a great way to spend quality time with the family and keep kids entertained, in school such games help boost cognitive learning and social development. In fact, a 2015 study linked chess-playing to higher math scores on standardised tests, and according to researchers of an earlier study published in Psychology Press, “kids who play games experience spikes in creative thinking and abilities.” This is just what the education evangelists at Beansprouts believe in and young ones at the pre-school learn through play.
Expression walls are actually spaces where your child can feel free to do what he or she wants to. Experts advise giving a child a corner that he or she can own, decorate, spend time at, draw on (the walls), stick posters on – just about anything. At home, it can be a great way to understand what’s on your child’s mind, even as you watch them unleash their creativity, and learn all about responsibility as they maintain their wall. At Beansprouts, sensory spaces and expression walls are also used to help the children smarten up their social and behaviour skills by teaching them team play and how to interact with peers.
Kids (and even adults) love to play in the sand. While parents may sometimes frown upon it, playing in the sand is great for children’s physical development. Studies have shown how sand play improves hand-eye coordination and small muscle control in children. According to a study, via sand play children can learn social skills, through creativity and imagination, and even role play. Sand play also helps in the development of sense of touch among children. Reason enough why your child’s school must have a sandpit. Just like the one at Beansprouts! Teachers here use children’s natural love for sand play to encourage them to observe, share, communicate and work together. Much of the children’s language development also happens when they begin to communicate with others, and playing with sand is a great social activity that allows them to speak, listen, and develop their vocabulary.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is an age-old saying that we all have heard. Modern science has only proved this right. This is the reason why many parents now realise the importance of letting their children play games even as they encourage them to study and learn.
But what if the school itself were aware of this, and created an atmosphere where playing meant the freedom to explore, discover and learn? Pay a visit to the Beansprouts campus, and you’ll know how playing games helps create future leaders.