Building skills through play is our brain’s favorite way to learn! But, with so many children still learning from home right now, lots of kids are missing out on building important social-emotional skills. Classrooms would usually provide vital interactions and activities. This is where games can help. When kids play games, they collaborate with others, building their communication and language skills.

The many benefits of games

Games offer kids as young as 3 the opportunity to interact with others. It gives them a chance to practice skills like taking turns, listening, and self-control. Within the context of play, kids not only have fun but learn while doing so. “Children learn as they play.  Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” —O. Fred Donaldson

“Working in classrooms with children from ages 6 months all the way to 13 years old, there has never been a more delightful look on a kid’s face than when their learning was involved with play! Not only do kids get excited, but often, they refer back to our experiences during the game even after transitioning back to more formal academic practices. There is truly something about having fun while learning that helps the content and principles stick. As an educator, looking back on my own youth, my fonder memories involved hands-on activity and interaction with my peers.” —Naomi Byrdo, Learning Experience Analyst at SimplyFun

From the establishment of house rules to remembering who’s turn it is next, collaboration, negotiation, and all types of communications are experienced while playing games. It is within the realm of play that skills like these can be built to last. In addition, kids get to practice good sportsmanship and learn to praise others for their success as well as analyze their own strategies. So, if you thought your kids were just entertaining themselves with play, think again! As one of the three ways we learn, play is even more critical, to keep kids advancing their skills.