Play with Purpose: Reinforcing learning between play and Kneebouncer games

When children play with purpose, significant learning occurs. All play is learning, but when a child plays with purpose, it means there are specific learning goals the parent or teacher has in mind. We live in a digital age, and many preschoolers love to play online games. As a parent, you want ways to reinforce the skills and knowledge they’re gaining by playing Kneebouncer games with toys and activities. Play with purpose connects the concepts and skills they’re learning when they play with our fun, interactive games.

a small child playing with a toy truck

So, whether you’re tackling the challenge of teaching your preschool-aged child full-time or are integrating teachable moments at home and on the go, Kneebouncer games are a great way to reinforce preschool learning concepts! Read on for tips and advice to enhance your child’s purposeful play!

What is Play With Purpose?

Play with purpose or structured play is engaging in play that has a specific learning objective in mind. For example, you may play a game of Candyland to help your child work on color recognition. Playing with purpose doesn’t mean your child will only learn that one objective; it is a way to focus on a specific skill or developmental goal. 

two toddler playing letter cubes

Structured play is what preschool teachers do daily. While a glimpse of a preschool classroom may seem noisy, unstructured, and chaotic, much of what you see is intentional. Teachers place specific toys and items on their shelves, plan activities that reinforce the learning concepts, and lead children through learning with questions, discussions, and problem-solving opportunities. It’s something you can do at home too!

Tips for Playing with Purpose

Playing with purpose requires some advanced planning, but all play creates learning opportunities. To create structured learning opportunities for your child, think about what skill or developmental area you want to focus on, then find a game or activity that fits that goal. 

Gently lead your child while playing by asking open-ended questions about the learning objective. For example, if you’re focusing on shapes. “Abby, can you hand me the triangle?” If you’re focusing on colors, “Which is the pink car?” 

a little girl playing with toys on the floor

Structured Play Examples:

Connecting play to Kneebouncer games is easy! For example, in the game Sea of Colors, talk to your child about the fish’s colors as you see the fish swim. Are they swimming to the left or the right? Which color of fish came first? Which colored fish came last?

You can use any Kneebouncer game to play with purpose. Choose the learning concept you wish to focus on and pick one of our games that develops that skill!

Updated February 29, 2024, by L. Elizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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