GAME-BASED LEARNING: The Benefits of Game-Based Learning for 2-3 year olds
Play is often overlooked as a learning tool for children. Dictionarey.com defines play as “engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” It is seen as a type of “free time” when nothing else important is happening. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For 2 to 3 year old’s, play is vital to their overall development and learning. Children between the ages of 2 and 3 years old are growing physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially, very quickly. They are discovering new things daily and are attempting to navigate the world with very little information and abilities. Because of this, it is important that they are involved in activities that help develop them in all areas.
As Maria Montessori best said it, “Play is the work of the child.” Children learn best through play and, therefore, game-based learning is a major contributor to learning and retention. But not only does it stimulate the brain, game-based learning also enhances social skills, builds emotional confidence, and develops children physically". This whole child approach to development and learning is exactly what 2-3 year olds need. After years of research, our martial arts program was created with this approach in mind. The curriculum for 2 and 3 year old’s was developed with more emphasis on building early fundamental skills training with a strategic balance of Martial Arts. With this innovative curriculum, our martial arts program uses game-based learning to take learning to a whole new level. There are numerous benefits to this innovative way of learning. For 2 and 3 year old’s, participating in a program that utilizes this approach, gives them a jump start into enhancing their brain structure and function, developing social skills, and better control their strong emotions, all the while, building a stronger body. Our martial arts classes focus on building 8 early skills for 2-3 year olds using martial arts as the approach, the system of game-based learning makes this learning process easier. The games are balanced in that they are fun but teach early developmental concepts at the same time. All martial arts games and drills for this age are approached in this way. This make the benefits of game-based learning even better. Children are more focused on games than any other form of learning. Because they are excited about “playing” they are more motivated and put forth more effort. With game-based learning, 2-3 year old’s will have more opportunities to gain more physical strength and control, increase their language development, learn to control their emotions, and communicate better with others.