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Typical Skills Learned Through Child’s Play

Typical Skills Learned Through Child's Play

What skills do children learn through play?


Finding Toys

Cognitive: Makes decisions about interests materials and to work with abilities.
Self help: Finds toys by himself or self or others. Sets up environment for play.
Social/Language: Learns to share, barter, manage conflict, and ask for help.

Learns about acceptance and rejection. Expresses needs.

Block Play
Physical: Learns to balance blocks and lines them up (small motor coordination).
Cognitive: May count blocks, sees pattern and design. Learns to build and plan structure. Matches blocks that look alike.

Social: Learns to share and cooperate.


     Dramatic Play
     Plays adult roles. Develops self-image and coordinates others.
     Learns to express self in another role.
    Cognitive: Decides appropriate dress and appearance for role; uses visual
     perceptions to assist self, others, and play learns and remembers behaviors to imitate.  Develops abstract thinking abilities.                                               
Self-help: Dresses self. Sets up play environment and finds props.
Story Time Or Listening To Music
Listens and retains information. Follows story line   (sequencing) with eyes and/or ears. Recognizes words, pictures, instruments, and rhythms.
Finger Plays Or Songs
Learns words, gestures, and melody (sequencing,  repetition, speech and listening skills). Follows directions.
Coordination (small and large motor) for gestures and finger plays.


Cognitive/Language: Listens to music and rhythms. Learns to understand simple movement directions and their relationship to the music.
Physical: Coordinates movements (large motor). 

Cognitive: May count the rungs to the top of a climbing structure; plans his climb.
Maps out direction and distance to ride: watches for others in path.
Physical: Large motor coordination, balance.
Social: Takes turns, interacts.

Putting Away Toys
Cognitive: Sorts toys, follows directions.
Physical: Places object on the shelf, replaces lids, opens and shuts doors.
Social: Takes turns, learns to handle toys carefully.
So, the next time a parent says to you do you have a lot of “learning” time set aside.  You can share this information with them and state besides pre-planned themes, children are ALWAYS learning.

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