Activities and play are essential for the growth and development of a child. With fun play, children create the foundation for their educational development. These fun play ideas for kindergarten classes are designed to coincide with their developmental stage and help them gain new skills. At Strelitz International Academy, we offer our kindergarten students the opportunity to direct their own play and learn at their own pace. This learning experience helps set the stage for success in our IB PYP School in Norfolk and any further educational exploits.
How Play Helps with Childhood Development
Children are naturally motivated to play and explore new things. As they play, children use their senses to explore their environment, learn new things, communicate their feelings, and gain new skills. It is for this reason that play-based learning is incredibly important to the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. By playing, children develop a sense of things around them through inquiry, exploration, interaction, and problem-solving. To help encourage this development, learning environments should be geared towards a student-led, teacher-supported approach that predominantly occurs through play-based learning.
Different Play Ideas for Kindergarten Students
In order to help encourage play-based learning, we have put together a list of some fun play ideas for kindergarten students. These ideas are geared towards developing their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs.
Playing pretend can help to build a child’s sense of abstract thinking. By developing imaginative situations and scenarios, children can develop a sense of abstract subjects such as numbers, symbols, and language. You can encourage play by setting up stations where children can dress up, pretend to cook, play as a vet, and more. A shopping store station can also encourage the use of numbers, writing, and more.
Explore Something New
Exploring a new object, thing, or area is a wonderful way to help children understand the world around them and how it works. This can be as simple as playing outside, burying toys in a sandbox, setting up a sensory box, or putting out a pool. These activities encourage children to discover hidden things, play around in different environments, and learn cause and effect. This helps to develop their cognitive skills as well as their general and fine motor skills.
Playdough Activities for Kindergarten
As we mentioned above, sensory objects, toys, and bins are a key way to get children talking and communicating their feelings. Playdough is a fun, relatively, mess-free activity that stimulates the senses. Molding, cutting, squishing, and pulling also help children strengthen their hand muscles and develop fine motor skills.
Reading is another way children learn language, symbols, and comprehension skills. Books can even take on an instructional role—teaching children their ABC’s or numbers in a fun and unique way. By reading out loud, children get to experience the book in a fun and engaging way, while also learning communication and language skills.
Similar to playdough activities for kindergartners, drawing and painting activities help introduce creativity and abstract thinking to their lives. By mixing colors, using pencils, paintbrushes, and pens, children develop various skills that are useful in later educational topics.
Building with blocks and using puzzles are a great way for children to learn and recognize shapes, sizes, and colors. These types of games help children with their spatial awareness, logical thinking, and organization skills. All of which are needed in scientific, technological, and mathematical classes later in life.
Another engaging way to encourage language development is through music. Whether your child is introduced to an instrument, learning a song, or dancing to a beat, they are developing mathematical skills in a creative way. Plus, fun songs can be a great way to introduce concepts such as counting, rhyming, and literacy.
Prepare for the Next Stage of Schooling
In addition to helping with development, play-based learning helps children prepare for the next stage of their schooling career. Developing fine motor skills helps children to be prepared to use pencils, pens, and other materials in the classroom. Mathematical and language skills set up the foundation for reading, writing, and basic math. Playing pretend helps children regulate their emotions and express them, while also encouraging them to interact with other children and developing social skills. All of these activities that are seemingly just play, are actually incredibly beneficial for setting your child up for success in their later education.
IB Primary Years Program (PYP) Schools near Norfolk
Are you interested in enrolling your child in a child-directed, teacher-supported environment? Consider sending your child to Strelitz International Academy. We offer a kindergarten environment that sets them up for success in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Our kindergarten graduates learn and develop in a way that sets them up for later success in our IB program elementary school in Norfolk, VA. Discover how the IB program works and learn more about our kindergarten program by visiting our website.
Are you ready to increase your child’s long-term success? Speak with the Director of Admissions and schedule a tour today by calling us at 757-424-4327.