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Play & Learning

The days of simple play are over — your child is becoming a problem solver and a critical thinker.

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Whether it's through more advanced games, computer projects or team sports, they're learning the importance of strategy, collaboration and persistence. These activities not only entertain but also prepare them for real-world challenges.

Your Young Adolescent (Ages 11-14)

Play takes on new dimensions as young adolescents engage in activities that challenge their problem solving and social skills. Board games, sports, video games and group projects become opportunities for developing strategy, foresight and teamwork. These activities not only provide fun and relaxation but also offer valuable lessons in decision making, leadership and cooperation.

  • Exploring Complex Worlds

    Whether it's through role-playing games, constructing models or competitive sports, kids at this age are drawn to activities that require planning, strategy and a deep understanding of more complex rules.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Are there opportunities to engage in more complex play that rewards strategic thinking and problem solving? A supportive environment should offer challenging activities that encourage kids to stretch their cognitive and social skills.

  • The Art of Negotiation

    Group activities and games at this age often involve negotiating roles, rules and strategies. These interactions help develop communication skills, an understanding of different perspectives and the art of compromise.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Does the program encourage activities that require teamwork and negotiation? Look for settings that allow kids to collaborate, discuss and reach agreements, creating a sense of community and shared purpose.

  • Resilience Through Challenge

    Overcoming obstacles and setbacks in games teaches kids resilience and perseverance. Whether it's learning a new game, improving a skill in sports or finishing a difficult task, these challenges build confidence.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Are kids encouraged to take on challenges and learn from them? Look for an environment that celebrates effort and growth, helping kids to see setbacks as opportunities for learning and improvement.

  • Digital Play and Learning

    In the digital age, kids are often engaged in online games and virtual worlds. This can offer unique opportunities for creativity, collaboration and cross-country connections, expanding their understanding of technology and the wider world.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    How does the program use digital play in a way that is safe, constructive and educational? Look for guided activities that encourage responsible online interactions while also tapping into the educational potential of playing online.

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!

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From morning routines to evening activities, your child continues to develop. Explore these ideas for enhancing their skills and strengthening family bonds. Remember, all children progress at their own pace and in unique ways. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age, check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions, please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • Community Impact Project

    Inspire your child to start a project that has a positive impact on the community. This could be a small garden in a common area, organizing a neighborhood cleanup or starting a recycling program at school. Help them plan the project, identify the steps involved and reflect on the challenges and successes they experience. This encourages community service, project management skills and thinking about personal and social impact.

  • Escape Room Challenge at Home

    Design an "escape room" at home where your adolescent must solve a series of puzzles and riddles to "escape" from a room within a certain time limit. The challenges should require strategic thinking, logic and maybe even a bit of research. This activity helps build problem-solving skills, teamwork (if played with friends or family) and makes learning exciting and interactive.

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