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“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

Play-based learning is more than just letting children do whatever they want and run riot. Consider the importance of practical experience during training.

When you learn a new skill through a lecture or read workplace policies and procedures, does it all make sense to you right away? Or do you need hands-on experience to get a feel of how it all works and really understand everything

For children, play is the practical experience that helps them make sense of new skills. Children need play to test out theories and apply practices to real life situations. It is these practical experiences that help them truly understand the world around them.

The Early Years Learning Framework states that “Play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children’s immersion in their play illustrates how it enables them to simply enjoy being.”

When done right, play-based learning is more than “just playing”. Children are encouraged to ask questions, contribute to their own learning, and develop a true desire to learn more.

As professional Early Childhood Educators, it is our role to guide children and strengthen their understanding of the world. To do this, we support each child’s development and interests and encourage them to be a co-facilitator in their journey of self-discovery. Combined, a child’s eagerness to learn and an educator’s knowledge creates the ideal environment for growth.

When a child plays, they are relaxed, interested, and open to new possibilities.

So, when an educator plays alongside a child and poses questions or guides them through problem solving, play-based learning becomes the perfect tool to teach children gently.

We do not simply stand back and watch the children play. Instead, we are involved and engaged with the child so that we can recognise those teachable moments that the children themselves may not know how to navigate through just yet.

Play is how children learn. Without it how can they possibly experience and understand everything the world has to offer them?

At Mary MacKillop Childcare North Queensland, we highly value play-based learning and our early childhood educators endeavour to build on children’s prior learning and current interests.

By doing so, we provoke new ideas and learning opportunities that challenge and extend children’s existing understandings of the world.

Contact MMCNQ today to enrol.