In this podcast I will explain why I think that learning is critical learning (despite what some researchers have been saying over the last 5 years). I will also tell you why I think the researchers are wrong and why I think that we can still use their own research to suggest that games are an important part of learning–especially for young children.
I am a big believer in games in an educational setting. I think that there are three major benefits from playing games while learning: 1) Increased knowledge and skill retention, 2) Improved student attitude towards learning, and 3) you can teach across different ages and skill levels.
I loved this article on Pretend Play Scenarios and the benefit they can have on children if we set them up correctly.
You will really like the little section on PRoPELS. This is the section that helps parents and teachers know how to set up an educational Pretend Play experience.
Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that learning takes place when our children acquire some new knowledge and then come to understand how to correctly apply that knowledge in a different setting. At a young age, that skill comes through creatively roll-playing different situations. Jump in and see if you don’t feel a little of your own childhood returning as you begin to imagine and create in a world that has endless opportunities… a world where you can still be an astronaut or fireman. You will be amazed at the learning that takes place when you embrace pretending and imagining like you did as a child.
I love these commercials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that explain the importance of pretending with our children.