Play based learning is essential for a well-rounded educative process. It works for adults and surely does wonders for kids. It is easier to remember things when they have positive association.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – Said George Bernard Shaw.
Play contributes to the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being of the children, according to American Academy of Pediatrics. This becomes easier when children relate to a theme when they are learning. It follows a rhyme and rhythm to all the activities that we undertake in our Holiday Programs. For instance, we wrapped up our Archaeological Holiday Program recently and we had a plethora of activities on theme, to stimulate different skills. These activities are meticulously planned by our talented coaches to maximise the skills that can be harnessed in our little heroes.
Teamwork – Treasure hunt
Kids worked in teams to find precious treasures. The challenge was a combination of various smaller puzzles involving deciphering hieroglyphics, jigsaw puzzles, and some actual archaeological activities like digging, brushing and unearthing the treasures. Divvying the tasks amongst themselves and then putting their brain together to find the solutions. This helps increase their collaborative efforts and helps in decision making abilities. This also helped them develop their communication skills, while making friends. Since, it was a competition between the teams, they were driven to work together to achieve a common goal – BEAT THE OTHER TEAMS!
Tenacity – Robotics
Coding with mBlock software, to make the robots do their bidding is always a hit activity for the kids. By adding the element of archaeology and fact finding mission, it becomes a ‘learn through play’ opportunity. It is important for kids to learn that success, sometimes, may require multiple attempts. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that they keep at it, especially when it comes to coding! It might take multiple tries, but once done correctly, the result is wondrous with their robots twisting and turning tricks. Apart from learning how to code using the Scratch coding software and how to operate robots, kids also learnt healthy competition and a tenacity to keep making efforts to succeed.
Creativity – Creating Games
An aspect of Scratch coding that is lucrative for children, is creating their own games and animation. However, at PIEX, we do not believe in cookie-cutter games for all. Rather, our coaches work towards kids creating their own world through these games. Be it dinosaurs, aliens, or even princesses. Our program gives them a chance to bring that world to reality which can be seen and experienced by others. Three days long Holiday Programs culminate to games wherein some searched for fossils in deserts; and some looked for the lost city of Atlantic under the ocean. Their unbound personality and mind creates a world that we, as adults can only fathom to create.
Not just with the online games, kids express themselves through a variety of mediums. For example, we gave them clay and asked them to create just about anything. Their minds ranged from a snowman to the famous game, ‘Among Us’, characters. Play based learning helps them express themselves in the most innovative ways that is critical for their all-round development.
Working with over 20 kids, it can easily become an arduous task for any one to keep them occupied. It is to the merit of our coaches, like Jessica Nguyen, that our kids understand and appreciate the value of discipline. Our kids get breaks in between their activities which include mindfulness relaxation, monitored playtime to further implement play based learning, and timely lunch breaks. This helps them take a break in between their activities and also recharge through the day in a timely fashion.