For instance, I was playing one of our SimplyFun games called Dreaming Dragon with my then 3 year old daughter. The box says ages 6 and up but we had played it with her older brother all the time and it had become one of her favorite games. Since my daughter was so young, we did not play the game by the rules (you can do that with SimplyFun games…you can play the games at the level of the child.) As we were playing, if an egg fell off the dragon…no big deal! We were more focusing on the fine motor skills and the hand-eye coordination with the tweezers.
One day we were playing the game, just her and I, while her brother was at school. She began to take more and more time with her turns and that is when I realized that she was attempting to visual map…meaning she was trying to find a place to go where she was not going to have an egg fall. I was so surprised because I had never once showed her how to do that. She had learned it from watching me, her dad and her brother play the game that way!
She was able to learn a skill just by playing the game and watching other people play. I have decided to let her just try playing any game that sparks her interest because we are always surprised what kids can learn when they are presented with the opportunity… and it’s FUN!
If your world is like mine it is full of check lists…shopping lists, reading lists and even a bucket list. But I bet the one list you do not have for your family is a play list! Most of us think of play as this fun thing that we go do…as we have time. What we don’t realize is that play is made up of 9 specific activities that each bring added value to family life and skill development for your little ones.
OK, now you are thinking ‘How do I fit all that into my family life? Our days are packed already!’
Well let’s take a look and you may be pleasantly surprised at how many types of play are lurking around your daily life:
Are you surprised at how many of your answers are yes? Don’t be as we are all pre-wired to learn through play and we gravitate to these activities naturally. Encompassing all forms of play may be worth adding to your list after all because play builds skills that can be used throughout our whole life.
Isn’t it wonderful that Play is not just a little word, but a big powerful word that can help your child grow and have fun at the same time?
Make a quick play list of your own. See how many types of play your little one engages in during a week. Note where they are excelling and where they may be falling short. Incorporate some activities that touch on their strengths and challenges and have a little fun while you’re at it. Ready? Game on.
Playing ball with friends is more than just a good time.
Playtime isn’t just about having fun. It’s also the perfect way to help exercise your child’s fine and gross motor skills.
Different games aid your child in learning to use both large and small muscles in their bodies. From playing tag in the backyard to putting together a puzzle, even simple types of play make major differences in your child’s life.
The more your child plays, the better their motor skills become as they grow. Plus, you get the joy of playing along with them.
Motor Skills Are About More Than Movement
It’s easy to think of motor skills as just children learning to move around and interact with the objects around them. However, it’s more than that. Mastering motor skills provides benefits, such as:
As adults, throwing a ball, stacking blocks or writing your name might not seem like a major accomplishment, but when you were a child, those were the stepping stones that helped you grow and develop physically and mentally.
Fine Versus Gross Motor Skills
Both types are equally important, but you should make sure your child gets playtime that includes both. Fine motor skills focus on doing things with your hands. For instance, some early games to teach fine motor skills might involve playing with blocks, putting together pieces of a puzzle, clapping their hands or coloring.
Gross motor skills involve the larger muscles in the body. Physical activities, such as running and crawling, help build these skills. Babies start out with raising their heads and eventually crawling. As children get older, they play ball, ride bikes and play jump rope.
Play Is The Best Exercise
Make time for your child to play games that involve their hands, such as cards, puzzles, match games and blocks. Get your child active with bowling, tossing balls back and forth and having a fun dance-off as they get older. It’s never too early or too late to play with your child and boost their fine and gross motor skills.
Do you know the difference between fine and gross motor skills? It’s the size of the movement. Fine motor skills involve the careful control of small muscles in the hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Gross motor skills involve control of the arms, legs, head, and trunk.
Play is crucial to the development of children’s gross and fine motor skills. Through play, children perfect the dexterity and finesse of fine motor skills as well as nurture the muscle control that gross motor skills demand. Parents can support their children’s motor development by encouraging them to move their bodies through physical play, like in a game of catch, or creative play, like in arts and crafts.
Do you want to learn more about the types of play that help children develop fine and gross motor skills? Read the full article.
Mathematicians contributions to today’s learning withstand the test of time. From negative integers to prime numbers, we have all experienced the findings of a great mathematician or two. So just for fun… with the release of our new math game, Math Medalist, and our annual celebration of March Mathness, here are profiles on 4 of the greatest mathematicians of all time.
Fibonacci: Have you heard of the Fibonacci sequence? It’s a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two numbers before it. The most common Fibonacci sequence is… 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. You can see it depicted below. We think it’s pretty cool!
Johann Gauss: Gauss is known as the greatest mathematician since ancient times. 18th century German mathematician, Johann Gauss, was the first to find a pattern in prime numbers. He also had some pretty inspiring quotes on learning.
Brahmagupta: Do you remember that confusing, yet captivating class on positive and negative numbers? Brahmagupta began that discussion thousands of years ago. He was an Indian Mathematician who used math to determine the position of the planets, the timing of eclipses, and the length of the solar year. He was pretty out of this world.
Euclid: Also know as the “father of geometry.” He was the first to prove the infinity of prime numbers as well as being an established author. His book, Elements, has been an important tool for teaching math for over 2000 years.
Think you have what it takes to be the next great mathematician? Show us what you got in Math Medalist.