Top 3 Benefits of Learning Through Play | Gracie PAC MMA
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Maria Vega reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

My wife and I were looking for a friendly, family oriented MMA classes for our son (10) and daughter (12). They love martial arts and have been doing it for years, in an after school program (TKD). Well, after looking around, we joined Gracie PAC MMA. Let me tell you, this place is perfect. Their staff and coaches are incredible; friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and experience on everything MMA. Professor Cris Rodriguez is great with kids, amazing teacher. We are extremely happy with Gracie MMA, their staff is great, they are very organize and their curriculum (bjj, muay thai, kick boxing, etc....) has everything we were looking for. Great place for the entire family.

Tiffany Teal Montague Simmons reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Come train with the BEST! This is NOT your normal after school karate class. We were amazed at the amount of technique even the youngest students pick up after just a few classes. Coach Cris is awesome with the kids. She expects more then just good fighting from them. She stays involved with how they are doing in school and at home, giving her students the incentive to be the best at everything they do.

Dana Fields reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I have been looking for a great exercise program to get involved in and finally found it here. I have learned so much in the two months I have been here and can't wait to continue to get stronger. Love This place!! Coach Cris is the best at making me not want to give up.

DorothyandMark Winter reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

PAC MMA is fitness for the whole family. Kids programs, adult classes and even the best woman's fitness and self defense around, this is the place to go. Make your family a part of the PAC family.

Amanda Fletcher Moyer reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Best place ever! My daughter attends the after school program there and she loves it. I just started taking the kickboxing class & it's the best class I have ever taken. Everyone there is awesome.

Gina Lopez Fernandez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I can't say enough about how much I love this place! My son is learning so much and he LOVES going to class. There's something so rewarding in watching your child learn and grow so quickly :) Coach Chris, Coach Dan and Coach Rich have all been amazing! I couldn't ask for a better environment for my son. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and so much of yourself - we truly appreciate it!

Erica Ramirez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Heard thru word of mouth. Then checked it out and noticed great character in their students and the attentive staff. The coach had noticeable rapport with the kids in the class. My daughter loved it. She can't wait to get back. She even cleaned her room! Huge plus.

Dan Martinez reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Gracie PAC MMA has been one of, if not the best, mixed martial arts gym I have been a part of. The kids program/instruction is second to none, and offers world class BJJ instruction for adults as well as one of the most promising striking programs in the US, Bang Muay Thai. Countless kids and adults have competed at the highest level under the GPAC banner, with even more discovering what martial arts can do for them. Whether you want to compete or get in great shape, this facility has the program for you

Nicole Dunn reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Our family has been coming to Gracie PAC Tampa for nearly two years. We began sending our son first. Our main goals were for him to experience the physical and mental benefits derived from regular physical exercise. Instantly we realized how special this place is, and how amazing Coach Cris is with the kids, as well as adults. She is fair but firm, and as she commands respect, she encourages these kids to rise to their full potential, also providing valuable discussions on character, sportsmanship, and leadership, as part of her curriculum.

My husband takes some of the adult jiu jitsu and kickboxing classes, from which he has benefitted greatly, and I truly enjoy being a member of the ladies' bootcamp group. These ladies represent a wide range of fitness levels and ages. Each class, we all get together to kick butt, do our best, and encourage each other in a true team environment. I never leave this class disappointed.
Gracie PAC Tampa MMA - best place EVER for your anyone in your family to train at.

Lynzie Johnston reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

Well it's about time I write a review! My boys joined Gracie PAC as little Ninjas about 4 months ago. They absolutely love it! Professor Cris is an amazing teacher! She's very enthusiastic about teaching and she is very patient. My boys love going to class. They are 4 &7 . They never want to miss a class. They have learned so much and continue to learn with each class. They love earning strips on their belt. This is a really great positive atmosphere for kids and families. I'm very satisfied with our experience.

Jesse James Maldonado reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I took Jiu Jitsu a few years back at another facility and decided to give this one a try. I took my first lesson last night and could not believe the content. Very structured and professional. Easy to learn and everyone was eager to assist me being the new guy. Other places teach you a couple of moves. Each involving many steps and you still won't understand it. Garcia PAC teaches you a technique and teaches you other techniques that involve some of the same steps. It made me confident that if I try something and am not able to secure the submission, then I can roll into another technique just as easy and It gives you options and makes you think. I liked that approach rather than what I was given in the past. A+ school and is 100% legit. I am confident this time around I will take it all the way with my training. When you find a place like this you take advantage of the opportunity to train there.

Meghann Thacker reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

We love it at Gracie PAC! They focus on fitness, strength, form, and most importantly they work hard every lesson to help teach my children how to effectively defend themselves against bullies and other attacks. It's easy to see this group of educators clearly loves kids and have a passion for sharing their vast knowledge with their students! Best MMA in the Bay for kids!

Chandra Ahrendt reviewed Gracie PAC MMA
5
via Facebook

I took my first class tonight. As soon as you enter, you are greeted by smiling faces who are just as excited to have you there as you are to be there. The coaches there were phenomenal. They were so incredibly encouraging and patient, it was a breeze picking it up because there was no pressure. Great job at creating such an inviting atmosphere.

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Top 3 Benefits of Learning Through Play

Play is Children’s “Work”

rocket shipWe are strong supporters of children learning through play. Therefore, we want to share with you what we feel are the Top 3 Benefits of Pretend Play.

Who doesn’t want to play “grocery store” or “rocket to the moon”? These were some of the pretend play scenarios I loved playing as a child and now I get to watch my kids do the same.

There are many stages that a child goes through with regards to pretend play.

For example, an 18 month old will pretend to feed a doll or cover a teddy bear with a blanket so the bear can go to sleep.

However, a 5 year old might come up with an elaborate scenario involving setting up chairs and pretending it is an airplane.

Oury kids love turning the dining room into an airport and the kitchen into the plane. They even make tickets which each passenger has to hand in at the gate (aka, the kitchen counter).

Each stage of play children go through will aid in their development.

Top 3 Benefits of Learning through Play

1. Play Encourages Communication

Play allows children the opportunity to develop speech and language skills as well listening skills. Children talk and listen while they play.

Whether this be during solitary play which typically involves self talk and narration (e.g. “now my car is driving up the hill and then it goes down, wee, wee, wee”) or play with a companion, children communicate to add purpose to their play.

The more vocabulary a child is exposed to on a day-to-day basis, the greater the variety of words a child will incorporate into play.

I love seeing and hearing some of the scenarios my children come up with. For example, they love playing restaurant. They have to decide who will be the cook and who will be the server. My daughter is the older one so she gets to write out the menu, but they both decide what will be included on the menu (usually milk, juice, coffee, hot dogs, sushi, spaghetti and ice cream – quite the combination). And they always make sure that we pay for our food.

Sometimes there are disagreements about who gets to play which role or what will be included on the menu, but I try to teach them how to work through these issues and we also talk about compromising.

 

2. Play Improves Cognitive Development

building blocksChildren who engage in pretend play tend to have more sophisticated levels of interaction with others. Bergen, D (2002) found that more and more evidence supports the connections between cognitive ability and high quality pretend play.

Moreover, if children are deprived of play, their long-term capabilities related to problem solving, social skills and academic areas (e.g. literacy, math and science) could be lessened.

The complexity of these skills demonstrate that many areas of the brain are most likely involved. For more information please see the complete study by Bergen.

Additional research about the benefits of learning through play shows that:

  • Children whose fathers played with them had greater levels of imagination and cognitive ability than those whose dads did not play with them.
  • Children who played with their parents also participated in other activities, had positive mental health, stronger friendships and experienced a stronger family bond when compared to those whose parents did not play with their children as much.
  • Children whose mothers played with them showed a greater level of attachment to their moms and enjoyed more positive development compared to children whose mothers did not play with them regularly.

 

3. Play Encourages Relationship Building

kids under a parachutePlay helps to promote the development of social skills. Children who play with their parents and peers learn how relationships work through their play experiences. As play becomes more important in a child’s life, an increase in the number and quality of friendships has been seen.

Many people don’t realize that social skills are a vital part of language development. Language is so much more than simply spoken words!

These are my top 3 benefits of learning through play. There are definitely many more than these and I am sure I could go on and on about this topic.

At Gracie PAC, all of our children’s classes teach Martial Arts through Game Based Learning. It’s the BEST way for our young ninjas to learn.

If you are ready for your child to experience a life full of confidence, discipline, and respect – grab a complimentary intro lesson here.

You can even book your appointment through our no hassle online scheduler. 🙂