Thursday, March 3, 2016

Learning Through Play

Do you remember as a child how you would play with your dolls or with your army set? You used your imagination in creating real life scenarios. The concept of using play to learn is key for children to enrich their experiences and make connections with real life. Play is hands on. It requires curiosity and creativity. It is a perfect way to introduce authentic learning to your students.

Often children's museums have miniature sets. You'll find grocery stores, construction sets, play kitchen. Kids love to pretend using real life objects!

You can enrich your students' play in the classroom by using these concepts and integrating your curriculum.

For example, you can use cooking in your classroom to explore measurement, temperature, multiplying (halving, doubling or tripling a recipe!), fractions, portion size, reading a recipe, collaboration, following directions all while enjoying the experience. You don't need a worksheet to explore these concepts!

Taking a step farther, once you have the basic skills involved, students can create their own recipes and alter or tweak the recipe to their taste! This encourages creativity within the boundaries of skills they are learning.

One of our favorite ways to include play in the classroom is by setting up a miniature restaurant. We build a Hamburger Shack and stock it with pretend food items. Then students order from the workers and the workers must fill the order and calculate the cost of the order correctly.

Students hone their skills on charting, adding, using a calculator, making change, and customer service. We have a download available for you to make it easy to give the Hamburger Shack a try in your own classroom!