What is play-based learning?

When: 26 Aug 2021

It is understandable the term ‘play-based learning’ may sound odd to some parents. After all, can children play and learn at the same time? The answer is a resounding yes.

Play-based learning is becoming more popular in places of early learning and for good reason: play is work for kids. It is how they learn!

However, it is important to note that play-based learning does not mean that kids are left to their own devices to run around and do whatever takes their fancy. Play-based learning is led and under the instruction of teachers and educators, to encourage children to explore, to take risks, to be creative and to solve problems.

There are other positive advantages of play-based learning, including:

Play-based learning helps children develop fine and gross motor skills.

Colouring, drawing, painting pictures, and kneading playdough and clay is a lot of fun for young children, but it importantly helps increase their finger strength and help them develop their fine motor skills, which is vital when learning pre-writing shapes and patterns. This becomes very important when it’s time to learn how to write. Any physical play, such as dancing and jumping, can help a child develop gross motor skills and as an added bonus, it is a good way to incorporate more physical activity into their busy days.

The lessons the children learn are more meaningful.

Any parent will attest that young children are not designed to sit still for long periods. It is understandable why children zone out during lecture-style lessons. If children are having fun and actively taking part in something, it is likely they will take more notice of what they are doing and stay engaged.

Play-based learning encourages children to enjoy learning.

Transitioning to school is a big step, so it could be a little scary for some children. Play-based learning is enjoyable and encourages a child’s creativity, imagination, natural curiosity, and also enables children to develop important social and communication skills; hopefully helping to set them up to love learning for years to come.

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