What is “Learning Through Play?”
When we give tours or answer questions about our preschool program, we often get asked “What exactly does learning through play mean?” or “Can children really learn through just playing?!”
I love these questions! We are passionate about promoting and providing a play based learning environment here in our preschool classroom.
What is play based learning?
Play based learning does not mean that the children just do what they like all day. There will be times when the children come together as a group where they will learn to listen to each other, share information, follow rules and partake in group activities. Play based activities don’t replace intentional teaching, rather complement and enhance it! In our play based learning setting children will be provided with long periods of uninterrupted play time. They will have the opportunity to follow their own interests. They are encouraged to initiate activities and be self-directed with the support of their teachers. They learn to take ownership of their work. They will be gently molded into independent children with initiative and the confidence to take risks, knowing that there is no right or wrong way.
Open ended play based learning focuses on the process not the product. It is the learning that is taking place that is the all important factor.
Some activities you may see if you drop into the classroom:
- Exploring with “Goop” in our Water/Sensory Table.
- Experimenting with a magnet and different objects in our Science corner.
- Creating with different art materials, from feathers to corks, to paint and glue.
- Imagining and acting in our Dramatic Play corner, becoming a ship captain, pilot, chef, to name a few.