The Benefits of Play

May 9, 2017

At BCOTB, the playroom is more than a space for fun and games: It is an empowerment zone where children learn foundational life skills. According to UC Davis Children’s Hospital, playtime benefits children with increased language, social, cognitive, and physical skills. BCOTB encourages learning in the natural environment or “NET” through its Child Advancement programming. Children participating in our Toddler Achievement Plan (TAP) and School Readiness Program (SRP) join in socially-oriented play activities grouped by learning centers that facilitate appropriate play skills. The benefits BCOTB’s learning centers are described below:

Imaginary Play

In BCOTB’s imaginary play center, children learn functional play skills through a mixture of peer and therapist-modeling, imitation, and reinforcement. Children pretend to shop for groceries, use tools, and take care of babies. They use a cash register and count money. Imaginary play—in this fashion—facilitates the acquisition of play skills through interactions that mimics the daily-living skills of adults.

Drama Corner

In BCOTB’s drama corner, children learn to take perspective, socialize, attend to books, and engage in conversations as a listener. The various roles that are enacted through play with dolls and puppets afford multiple learning opportunities for children to recognize emotion and practice perceptions skills. Children can be seen listening to books, playing with a doll house, watching a puppet show, and singing and playing instruments.  

Engineering Station

In BCOTB’s engineering station, children learn to assemble toys with multiple parts (working on fine motor coordination), and to work collaboratively with others to create Lego towers and colorful marble tracks. This center facilitates peer communication and works on the critical thinking skills necessary to execute a project from start-to-finish.  

Sensory Play

In BCOTB’s sensory play center, children engage their sense of touch with Play-doh, putty, Kinetic Sand, and dried beans, rice, and noodles. For some children, these sensory stimuli are already engaging and fun, but for other learners, this play center helps expose them to multiple textures that they may not seek on their own.

Problem-Solving/Turn Taking

In BCOTB’s problem-solving center, children learn to take turns, follow the rules of a game, win and lose appropriately, and to strategize. BCOTB has a variety of age-appropriate board games through which early learners can work on counting and recognizing colors, shapes, and other basic icons. 

Physical Play

In BCOTB’s physical play center, children learn to play cooperatively, respond to requests of peers, initiate social interactions, and –of course—children also get the opportunity to get a lot of energy out. Children can be seen playing tag, red light/green light, hide-and-go-seek and other fun, interactive games.

Academic

In BCOTB’s academic center, children engage with shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and other early learning topics. This center helps make learning preacademic skills fun and engaging with Magna Doodles, magnetic letters, white boards, and other inviting resources.

Arts and Crafts

In BCOTB’s arts and crafts center, children learn to draw, color, paint, and engage with various textures, colors, and scents. As with sensory play, some children already enjoy arts and crafts. Other learners gain exposure to art and learn to enjoy it within the arts and crafts center. Arts and crafts affords many opportunities to work on a variety of skills. 

BCOTB fully utilizes your child’s play-time, ensuring that essential skills are learned in each play center. BCOTB sees each child for his or her unique strengths because—as philosopher Martin Buber said—“Play is the exaltation of the possible.” At BCOTB, we believe in the possible, we work for the possible, and we rejoice in every inch of learning.

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