The Importance of Game-Based Learning in a Child's Early Educational Development


Game-based learning is a technique that is gaining traction in the early childhood and elementary curriculum. This is due to the fact that studies have shown children's academic and developmental learning results are improved through the integration of this technique within classroom instruction. It can also prepare students for success in the twenty-first century by instilling relevant skills in them.

How Is Game-Based Learning Different from Other Direct Instruction Techniques?

Many teachers in preschool programs have always used a game-based learning approach to educate their students. In fact, it is the foundation for early learning frameworks developed by state and federal governments.

High-quality game-based kindergarten programs, in which children are exposed to learning and problem solving through self-initiated activities and teacher instruction, have been demonstrated to have long-term benefits according to research.

Despite the fact that direct instruction is a more regimented teaching and learning method is the typical approach to elementary school programs, research shows that game-based learning is more successful. Children's learning outcomes in game-based programs are proven to be higher than children's learning outcomes in direct-instruction techniques according to recent research.

In particular, early learners in direct-instruction programs may suffer some negative consequences from a curriculum based strictly on traditional direct instruction techniques.. These include stress, a lack of enthusiasm to learn, and behavioral issues. This is especially true for children who have not yet reached the age of formal academic instruction.

What Are the Advantages of Game-Based Learning?

Game-based early childhood programs focus on teaching and learning, just like traditional direct instruction techniques. In such programs, play can take the form of spontaneous and child-directed free play, as well as guided play, in which the instructor participates as a co-player with the focus on deliberate teaching. Both are advantageous to the learning of younger student. An ideal game-based learning program will allow children both free and directed play in order to maximize these benefits.

Playing encourages a child's desire to explore and discover new things. This encourages the youngster to develop control over their surroundings, which improves focus and concentration. It also allows the child to participate in the flexible and higher-level cognitive processes that are considered necessary for new-age learners. These include problem-solving, analysis, evaluation, application of information, and creative inquiry processes.

Students are also more likely to have a favorable attitude toward learning when they are engaged in play. Imagination, curiosity, zeal, and perseverance are just a few examples. In fact, role learning, which focuses on memorizing data, cannot duplicate the types of learning processes and skills acquired through play.

The social connections between teachers and children help to support the inquiry-based nature of play. Teachers adopt a hands-on approach to guiding children's play interactions. Collaboration, discussing and responding to ideas, bargaining, and resolving disagreements are among abilities that children are encouraged to develop.

Teachers can also make use of children's natural curiosity and willingness to investigate concepts and ideas. In this way, children can study and practice crucial academic abilities and learning in a fun and engaging environment.

According to one recent study, children's play-based programs' enhanced the instruction of crucial literacy abilities. Understanding the structure and meanings of words is one of these skills.Children's vocabulary and ability to tell a tale were found to be higher in a play-based classroom than in a standard classroom in another study.

In educational settings, teacher-led learning and direct instruction methods have a place. However, there is evidence that game-based and interactive educational activities are beneficial for our youngest learners and should be a part of instructional activities focused on the younger students. Time spent playing is considered as crucial for learning in play-based programs, not as a reward for good behavior. Children can also have a larger, more active input into what and how they learn in such classes.

According to research, play-based programs for young children can create a good foundation for later academic success. They aid in the development of socially competent learners who are capable of confronting problems and devising solutions.

But What If We Deny Children the Opportunity to Play?

As we have mentioned above, games are an important part of our lives as humans, and we frequently use them to foster friendships, social connections and memories. Children, in particular, rely on games to connect with their surroundings; it is the vehicle through which they learn about the world and its people around them through a positive process.

Games are needed to develop friendships, social ties, and experiences. Have you ever considered what might happen if children were denied the opportunity to play? Below, we'll go over some of the consequences of denying children the opportunity to play.

May Impede Brain Development

Early in life, children go through a period known as the "critical period," during which important neurological growth and formation occur; any experience acquired during this period helps kids form cortical maps, which aids in the development of emotional connections with others and the world. This is when a child constructs their own conscious reality. Unstructured play may help them develop a solid foundation for growth.

Conversely, children who are deprived of play often do not have full access to an enriched "critical period," which is characterized by a lack of sensory connection with the outside world. As a result, important areas of their brains are potentially underdeveloped. This can lead to behavioral instability, neurological dysfunctions, dissatisfaction and other negative consequences.

Children May Not Be Taught Proper Social Behavior

Play deprivation can cause children to engage in unusual, anti-social behavior that as a result of their lack of the practice in social engagement that game-based learning may provide. This can involve awkwardness such as activity repetition, a significant lack of social engagement, and even a lack of emotional control. NewPath Learning understands the importance of game-based learning and has developed an entire line of curriculum resources specifically designed to aid in the social and educational development of young learners.