Play Is What Our Children Do Best!
February 21, 2020
The Early Years Learning Framework firmly endorses play-based learning. It also strongly recognises the significant role that educators play in helping to ensure that children’s play and learning is effective and meaningful.
There is a large body of research focusing on the impact of play on child development and learning. Studies show that children’s learning is optimal when they are free to learn through purposeful play.
Play is an excellent way for young children to explore the world around them. It develops children’s creativity and allows them to make connections with things that are familiar to them. Play-based learning gives children the freedom to experiment and discover concepts and facts at their own pace, and in their way, while being guided and supported by their teachers.
The term ‘playful learning’ was outlined to capture the combination of free play and guided play and is a powerful pedagogical tool to encourage a joyful and rich learning environment, especially in the early years.
Purposeful play involves intentional planning and facilitation of children’s play to achieve intended learning outcomes. The understanding is that play activities should be planned and allow children to explore, develop and apply new knowledge and skills in fun and engaging ways, so that children are engaged, mentally and socially active, while building meaningful connections in their lives.
We see this every day at TIGS Prep, as the children shift seamlessly between the activities which are self-led to those with the support and interest prompted by responsive educators. It is important in being part of a sensory-rich environment where educators are empathetic and in tune with the needs of the children.
The termly provocations constantly challenge the children to engage mentally and through their creative responses to the ideas generated. Also, their social interactions with their peers and with their teachers lead them to understand both about others and themselves.
We trust that all the children will soon be wrapped up in this infectious mood of optimism and that each day will bring new opportunities for learning and for making new friends.
Albert Maslow, reminds us, “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”