As parents, we are always concerned about our child’s development and education. Many approaches to childcare education have come to the conclusion that young children succeed the most when learning is fun, exciting and explorative.
At Child’s Play, we love to create learning opportunities through engaging activities that are often child-led. Within our curriculum, we have adopted Kathy Walker’s approach that encourages play-based learning and long-term projects to harness a child’s natural curiosity and develop cognitive, motor and social skills.
What is play-based learning?
Play-based learning allows children to explore and inquire about the world around them which is Early Years Learning Framework Objective 4. Child’s Play encourages play-based learning through open-ended activities and indoor-outdoor facilities so children can freely move in-between. The benefit of play-based learning is that it creates a motivation to learn and shapes the language, critical thinking and social skills our children adopt.
Why do we create learning opportunities through play?
Besides evidence showing it is the best approach, there are so many reasons why we create learning opportunities through play. Some of them include:
It builds and expands your child’s knowledge
Children are naturally curious and you probably find they always have questions for you. Within play, they develop interests and these interests stimulate your child’s thirst for knowledge. At Child’s Play, they not only discover these interests but they can create connections with the community and the environment and meet other children who like the same things.
Through play, our children often don’t even notice they are engaging in learning activities because they are having fun. Play comes in a number of forms including sport, arts and crafts, music and games. They are able to explore new environments and experiment with new materials. Often we have found children that are able to experiment and engage more in a certain activity, the more potential it has to become a keystone memory in the following years.
Positive attitudes toward learning
For young children, it is all about the experience. If your child has a positive experience when learning something new, they are likely to take that feeling and attitude with them when it comes to formal education. At home, you can continue to encourage play-based learning by getting them to help cook dinner and by going on day trips to parks on the weekends.
Children want to feel like they belong, so these curiosities often will begin after their first interaction with another child. Play-based learning initiates this feeling of belonging by honing in on your child’s interests and introducing them to new interests and activities that they are able to share with other children.
Rules and social skills
Finally, play-based learning teaches our children rules and social skills like raising their hand and sharing. Being able to follow basic instructions and communicate effectively will help them in the future like when they start school and their activities become more rigid in structure.
Get in touch with our educators
Child’s Play ELC is a community-driven childcare centre that endeavours to provide every child with the opportunity to thrive. Our play-based curriculum has allowed us to maintain an Exceeding Rating with the National Quality Framework – something few childcare centres achieve. If you are considering early childcare education, please get in touch with our educators via this form.