Why Play Is Fundamental To Learning.
When we think about children and playing, we think of them in the playground or at playdates, but we don’t think of WHAT they are learning while playing and why play is an opportunity for everyone to learn, explore, and express.
We often use play as a ‘treat’ or after your homework. What if we integrated play into their homework, home, or school day? Play and learning are connected, and there is play in our everyday.
“Play and learning are like the two wings of a butterfly – one cannot exist without the other”.
Carla Rinaldi - President of Reggio Children
We need to redefine play as a crucial part of learning and how the minds and actions of play influence a child’s social, emotional, and mental health, interpersonal communication, independence, expression, imagination, creativity, and future life skills. There are many varieties of play, and adults are incorporated into that.
A crucial part of learning through play is that the child should be supported rather than directed/taught. Proving that children are capable and capable of being self-directed, and when NEEDED, support is provided.
Play shouldn’t be provided as a break and separate time from learning, but rather integrating play into a holistic approach to that, allowing for a space to develop and advance skills.
Incorporating Play In The Following Ways:
Group Play - Projects, experiments, solving obstacles in topics learnt, free play, using objects, sensory play, art.
Virtual Play - Whilst there are reservations, virtual play can provide an opportunity for children to create a community for themselves. Interpersonal skills, meeting new people with whom they have a common interest, and creating a balance between commitments and play—also allow for confidence for kids with special needs.
Independent Play - Expression of play through imagination, interpretation for the play chosen, independence, creation of experiments and projects, personal understanding of the play idea, self-exploration, art, and expression.
Classroom Play - Inside and outside play, pair and teamwork, basing play with experiments and projects, sensory play, building, interpreting what they understand and learning through transforming theory into art, and even plays.
Play, Express, Freedom, Self-Directed Learning = Progressive Education
- Breaking The Chalk