Play is a wonderful way to learn, and one of the ways children learn major motor skills is through repetitive play. The first time a child makes his or her way up and down a set of stairs leads to a second and third time. Practice makes perfect.
After mastering a skill through repetitive play, children will want to stretch their limits to expand on their newfound skill. Think of children at a park. They may initially work at climbing up the ladder to the top of the slippery slide. After they become proficient at climbing the ladder and getting down the slide, they often begin experimenting with their bodies—sliding down with their hands in the air, or on their stomachs, or even head first. Play, then, provides a way for children to expand on basic skills as they experiment.
You can also observe innovative play as children develop language skills. As children begin to understand words, they may break into song or create a fun little riddle. Or they may expand language skills with motor skills. Enacting the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” with finger play of the ascending spider comes to mind.
It is through play and playful interactions that children learn skills and then expand on those skills. Make time to play!
More to consider: Watch children . . .
Young children have a broad perspective of the world. They view the world full of excitement as artist, naturalist, writer, innovator, researcher, and more—and all at the same time. Young children are fascinated with the world, and young children are fascinating to watch.