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Does Playtime Distract From Learning?

 

The Pattern

As parents, we’re constantly working to ensure that everything we do is in our children’s best interest. Our pressing desire is to raise smart, highly credentialed young ones that will go on to be the most successful in whichever career they choose. 


The path to success that often seems intuitive is structured, disciplined learning. In this mindset, playtime would distract from the main goal of staying focused and achieving measured progress. 


I want to help other parents break that pattern. According to countless accredited professionals and proven studies, play does not distract from learning. Play IS learning.


The Answer

Zia Play Along was founded on the fundamental concept that for children, play has a crucial impact on learning. As parents, it’s our duty to our children to nurture their creativity and encourage their imagination. 


Let’s put ourselves in our children’s shoes for a moment. What is their day to day life like? What do they experience? The answer is not much, but also SO much. 


While they don’t have the responsibilities that take up the bulk of an adult’s day, everything they experience is new. They don’t have anything to base their emotions or thoughts off of; they have no frame of reference for their experiences. How do you begin to make sense of life when yours is just beginning? 


The answer is play. 


Essentially, playtime is discovery time. It’s exploration and experiment time. Children inherently lack life experience and play gives them access to scenarios to work with. 


“We need to consider that young children learn in quite different ways [than adults]. They learn by comparing physical experiences, by interactions with other people and their own feelings. And they learn an enormous amount through their imagination.... Play is what pulls together the logical and creative parts of the brain.” - Professor Doris Fromberg, Director of Early Childhood Teacher Education at Hofstra University


The Importance

What exactly are children learning when they play? 

  • Language and vocabulary
  • Cognitive skills
  • Social skills
  • Emotions and impulse control
  • Fine and gross motor skills 
  • Problem solving skills
  • Mathematical skills
  • Pre-reading skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Improved intelligence
  • Better physical and mental health
  • Lesson learning
  • Relationships and empathy

When you think about it, we (as adults) don’t go through a single minute of any given day where we don’t use one, or more likely lots of these skills. If we have the secret to enriching the learning process for our children and helping them become fully functioning adults, why would we not do everything in our power to make it accessible to them? 


The Reminder

While it can be difficult to remember sometimes (especially in this day and age), raising a well-rounded, stable individual is more important than producing the next baby Einstein. We have the ability to fill the world with compassionate, empathetic thinkers with enthusiasm for learning and developing all the tools they need to continue their personal growth.


The Bottom Line

I am a firm believer that experiences are far more valuable to a developing child than products, but that’s not to say that the right products can’t inspire and encourage meaningful play! That’s my goal with Zia Play Along; to provide families with top quality, affordable toys that enliven playtime. 


Which toy speaks to you?

Anjali Sembee

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