The Benefits of Play On Academic Performance

Learning through play, particularly in a child’s earliest years of life, can improve IQ, problem-solving abilities, creativity and socialization. Play helps children develop a sense of control and improves their ability to execute tasks and apply knowledge, rather than just absorb information. Different types of play help foster different skills, such as language development, analytical abilities and visualization. Incorporating different types of play into preschool and kindergarten classrooms can have far-reaching benefits into adulthood. Play can also be applied in the classroom for older children and into adulthood to make learning more fun and accessible.


Outdoor Play Helps Improve Academic Performance

Playing outside gives children the opportunity to get much needed exercise, which helps prevent heart disease and obesity later in life. Getting outside can also prevent conditions such as Vitamin D deficiency and myopia. In addition to keeping children healthy, outdoor play also provides a number of social and cognitive benefits. Kids who play outside foster a greater appreciation of nature, a greater sense of independence and better social skills. Playing outside also improves academic performance, by alleviating stress and giving kids the energy to focus.

Card and Board Games in The Classroom Provide Positive Reinforcement

Learning through gameplay improves the retention of new information and provides a fun and engaging context to apply what they’ve learned. Games can motivate students to focus on learning new material, as they strive for the reward of “winning” the game. Helping their teammates and challenging themselves against their peers also serve as incentives. Learning how to play a game can be valuable in itself, as it encourages students to follow directions, listen to one another and work collaboratively. Any card game can be transformed into a learning tool. For example, a traditional game of Go-Fish involves one player asking another if they have a card that matches their. If the cards match, the asking player receives the point. You can turn Go-Fish into an adding game by changing the rule so that instead of seeking a matching the card,  the cards must add up to ten in order to win the point. Games can also be adapted to help teach a second language by simply instructing students to speak only in that language while playing the game. 

Imaginative Games Foster Creativity

Play develops naturally, beginning in infancy, and as children get older, playing with others becomes an important part of their social development. Sociodramatic play, such as playing house, school or store helps children make sense of the society and understand the different roles people play. Using dolls, toys, costumes and other props, children create a world of their own to inhabit, which gives them tools to construct a narrative and to express themselves.  

If you ask the children in your class if they have a favorite game, you’re sure to get a variety of answers, but every child benefits when play is introduced into the classroom. Play is what comes naturally to children, and applying it in your classroom can bolster academic performance. Kids learn more when they’re having fun, and by bringing games into your classroom, you can keep students stimulated and engaged.

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