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Improving your child’s learning through play

Since the beginning of the lockdown most parents were faced with the difficult, yet rewarding task of getting their hands dirty when it came to their children’s learning process. Whether it was making sure they are keeping up with the school curriculum via online classes or completing homework, parents have had to get involved and teach themselves new skills.

If you have little ones between 3-5years old, keeping them busy and making sure they are learning something in the process might be tricky. However, research by Sesame Workshop has shown that play has a positive impact on learning, not only on kids but parents and caregivers too. The Play Every Day research conducted in 2019 across South Africa, Mexico and India showed that play has a positive impact on children’s creativity and academic development, and also increases parents’ confidence in being a play mentor for their children.

“Giving young minds the opportunity to explore and interact with their surroundings through play opens them up to learning key physical, social, mental, and emotional skills. Using play to spark their curiosity exposes them to new ways of doing things, and problem-solving,” comments Innocent Nkata, MD of Takalani Sesame. This year Takalani Sesame celebrates 20 years of bringing learning through play into homes of South Africans.

The show takes it’s model from Sesame Street and puts a unique spin on the episodes with engaging characters and adventures that young minds can relate to. Their new season brings with it some new friends to further emphasise the importance of learning through play. In a new segment Playful Problem Solving, best friends Basma and Jad build from every day, easy to find objects. For parents this segment can easily be taken off-screen, engaging with their children to find solutions to problems they might have using items around them.

The lockdown might be a difficult learning time for kids and parents alike, but with shows like Takalani Sesame, using play to acquire new skills will make the process much more seamless.

Takalani Sesame airs weekdays on SABC2

Since the airing of its first episode on 31st July 2000, the show has been teaching young minds about literacy, numeracy while instilling life skills - all through play.

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