MAGAZINE: How to turn children’s playing into learning

Watching your child learn new skills is one of the most exciting things about being a parent and even the smallest development or skill learnt can result in enormous pride for mums and dads.

Turn childrens playing into learning
Turn childrens playing into learning

And it’s not just at school that our kids learn and develop, with new research released this week showing that outside the classroom, over a third of parents believe children learn best from playing games, while almost a fifth say TV programmes can also be a fantastic learning resource.

Around 60% of parents believe that children’s TV introduces children to the world around them, with more than half saying that it gives children ideas for imaginative play and 74% believing it helps children to enjoy learning.

It may come as no surprise that the TV show parents believe they learnt most from when they were growing up was Blue Peter, followed by Newsround, Animal Magic, Playschool and Jackanory.

The survey was conducted to celebrate the launch of the new PlaySmart educational toy range by Chad Valley and also saw Noel Edmonds (Swap Shop) named as parents’ favourite children’s TV presenter, followed by Ant and Dec (SM:TV Live), Valerie Singleton (Blue Peter), Chris Tarrant (Tiswas) and Philip Schofield (Take Two).

The top five skills parents would most like help with when it comes to encouraging children’s learning at home are confidence (43%), problem solving (42%), number skills (40%), communication skills (37%) and creative development (37%).

To help parents to encourage their children to develop these skills when playing at home, former children’s TV presenter Anna Williamson has created a video guide full of helpful hints and tips.