Playing is a powerful way for young children to learn. In fact, Children’s Museum of Richmond says, “Allow your child to play and let them have control, play for the fun of it, and pretend. This allows them to be creative, interact, and learn how to relate with other children. It will also get them ready for school.”
In addition to your home, check out these local programs for young children that offer the opportunity to learn through play:
Art Factory Little Explorers
Aimed at ages 2-5, this hands-on program includes sensory-oriented play, music, and movement. For those hoping to connect with other caregivers and give your child a chance to make friends, Play Space passes are available. My children loved to play in the large, indoor play space after Little Explorers Classes.
Every Thursday, Pocahontas State Park holds Caterpillar Club, where children are encouraged to explore the natural world. The goal of Caterpillar Club is to foster children’s innate curiosity and sense of wonder. After class, consider heading straight to the park’s large playground to provide your child with more time to interact and play with others.
Children’s Museum of Richmond
CMoR defines learning through play as its two locations offer a variety of activities, from pretending to work on an apple orchard, to digging for dinosaur fossils. While there is much to enjoy in the exhibits alone, the museum also regularly hosts programs, like: Tutus & Ties, where children dress up and dance!
Toddler Time at Maymont allows children to learn about nature in a hands-on, playful way. Geared toward ages 18 months – 4 years, the 1 hour program includes guided exploration – the chance for children to see or play with what they’ve just learned.
Chesterfield County Public Library holds Toddler Storytime weekly for 2-3 year olds. While “storytime” is in the event title; it is completely acceptable if your toddler moves around and chatters – the librarians and other caregivers are incredibly accepting and understanding. Although the story is typically brief, the activities like movement and music last longer; thus, giving your child the chance to play, and socialize. For more about library offerings, check out this article, in our current RFM issue, which is available (for free) at these locations.
Allowing children the chance to play naturally incorporates learning. Consider trying one of these programs, and explore a new way to learn with your child. And, for more family-friendly events, see the RFM calendar.