How Playing Can Help Building 21st-Century Skills


Today’s learning must be based on fundamental skills that will allow children to thrive in the future. But what are the necessary skills that today’s kids need to succeed in their career?


There are 12 abilities that are recognised as 21st Century Skills.
First of all there are the 4 C’s of the Common Core, considered to be the most important ones. These skills are: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication.
On top of these key skills there are also: Media literacy, Information literacy, Leadership, Flexibility, Initiative, Productivity and Social skills.


All these abilities are essential to live and do well in today’s fast-paced world.


HOW DOES PLAY HELP CHILDREN DEVELOP THESE SKILLS?

Play enables children to make connections between their knowledge and the world around them, stimulating them to find new solutions to problems and helping them practice with their abilities. While playing, their creativity bursts in unexpected and unusual ways, providing innovative outcomes that encourage their critical thinking.

When it comes to education, involving children in play-based learning turned out to be very successful. It allows children to interact with the environment and explore, relying on their natural curiosity to engage with the processes of problem-solving, analysis and initiative.

There’s another reason why toys and games are so important when teaching certain skills: they put people in a state of play. When children and adults play, they are not concerned about failing or doing something wrong. This particular state makes it easier to take risks, look for improbable solutions, and exercise limitless creativity while never losing excitement. 

EDUCATION THROUGH PLAY

The education system must rethink traditional teaching methods and welcome new ways of getting children interested in learning. With play-based education, students are not only receivers of information, but they are actively participating in building their knowledge.
Education should become more and more a space where learners collaborate to find solutions that are relevant to them and to the world they live in, while being able to be fascinated by their own discoveries.

Educators now have the difficult task of creating a stimulating environment which can help develop resilient and free thinking children who will not be afraid of new challenges. As parents, we can help by letting our children play and experience the world around them on their own terms.