Support Play Anywhere
Playful Learning Knows No Bounds
The benefits of Smart Play are not confined to a building. No walls can block the power, no box can contain them. While we take great pride in the Smart Play opportunities offered here at Minnesota Children’s Museum, this rich, sophisticated-type play which is the pinnacle of learning can actually take place anywhere! Why? Because it comes from your child, so it goes where your child goes!
As your child’s first teacher, it’s important to truly understand the significance and need for play in your child’s life. Play and learning are partners, not competitors. What you do and what you say when supporting your child in their learning makes a substantial difference in their outcome. It’s that simple. Whether engaged in a day of playful learning at Minnesota Children’s Museum, or at home, in the car, or virtually anywhere, there are multitudes of ways you can support your child’s mastery of current and emerging skills. The very skills they will use throughout the rest of their lives.
Check out these simple activities you can do together as a family that will boost playful learning at home or while you are on the go.
Looking For Playing Pointers? Use Your Play LENS
It is not always easy to know exactly what to do or say to your child when they are playing and experimenting. Understanding and feeling comfortable with the different ways you do attend to your child to promote their learning however, is key.
At Minnesota Children's Museum we’ve developed the Play LENS to help parents and other caring adults remember a few basic steps that will have lasting and impressionable impacts on your child’s development and learning.
The Play LENS stands for:
L= Let Go
• Rid yourself of pre-determined outcomes, resist the urge to direct or provide too many solutions/answers, accept there is more than one “right” way
• Encourage your child to think for themselves, engage in relevant conversations, ask their opinion, instill confidence in their abilities
• Pay attention to the little or hidden things- like how they maneuver a puzzle piece until it fits rather than completing the whole puzzle- and discover your child’s motivations
• Be flexible, allow time to explore freely, pose challenges, embrace failures and mistakes, learn alongside your child
By focusing your Play LENS, you can begin to unpack the complexity and depth that play offers, as well as arm yourself with active and effective ways of supporting your child’s learning through play.