Why Children Learn Through Play
Until your child starts school and begins to learn in a more structured and formal way, she will try things out, practice and perfect new skills and commit them to memory through play. She is curious which encourages her to discover new things and try to understand them and, as she is very active, she will try things out again and again as it is her actions that she learns and remembers from.

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Even as adults we rarely learn things the first time we try them; we take a course of driving lessons or dance lessons, for example, and even then we ask questions, practice again and so on. Children do this too but, instead of turning something over in her mind, she acts it out as she plays. When she opens the door of her shape sorter she realises that she can only see the brick when the door is open and, to commit it to memory, she opens and closes the door again and again. We call it play but it is her way of learning in practicing actions. It is fun because it has to be to keep her interested.

Learning Through Play With Her Activity Gym:

She is curious about the toys that move on her activity gym, their movement excites her and, as she feels rewarded with this, she does it again. As she does she learns a number of things:

* Her hand-eye coordination and balance develop;
* Her muscles develop strength and coordination;
* She learns that being curious is fun;
* She learns she can make things happen by exploring them, and this it fun too!
* She takes an interest in the movement of her hand.

Learn Through Play With Mummy:

You pick her up from under her gym and smile and chat to her. She smiles back at you and you begin a playful conversation of coos and smiles. From this she learns:

* I am loved;
* I am special;
* Mummy / people are nice.

Learning Through Play With Painting:

As she grows up she starts to paint and you praise the colourful masterpiece she has created. From this learns:

* Self-esteem;
* Self-direction;
* Social skills;
* Her play brings together language, social, cognitive, imaginative and physical skills, so that in time she no longer needs to actively play and all her learning can be done by thinking playfully.

Learning Through Pretend Play:

Your child and her friend are sitting on their ’sit and rides’ and scooting round the garden, pretending to be police officers. This helps them both to learn:

* To think creatively, to use her imagination and tell a story.
* To get along with other children and to try on new roles.