Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities at: LessonsLearntJournal.com
I was reminded of the adage that play is a child’s work. It’s easy to get tired of the mess our kids make when they are playing and forget the real value of that play. On the other hand, we can get goal oriented, planning their play and not allow for their own experimentation and joy of discovery. With that in mind, consider Pauline’s five main points about play based learning.
1. Let them choose. This means letting them choose who to work with, what they want to play with, and where they want to play. Children learn best when they are motivated. Having more control of their own play and following their own interests motivates them to learn.
2. Let them be creative. This doesn’t mean we need to teach in a more creative way. It means we provide time and resources for children to think outside the box.
3. Let them be curious. This means letting the child choose what they want to investigate. They discover the world about them through questioning and testing their ideas.
4. Let them take risks. This means letting the child try and fail. It can be very hard to let them try some outlandish way to solve the problem, but they often learn best by failed trials. Encourage their resilience and perseverance in problem solving.
5. Let them connect with others. Pauline wrote, “Children are social learners. A key part of being a social learner is the communication between those playing, whether that is adult to child or child to child. Let them try out their ideas in a safe and secure environment while learning the rules of a range of different forms of communication including talk, body language and turn taking. E.g. we share our ideas and listen to one another; we talk one at a time; we respect each other’s opinions; we give reasons to explain our ideas; if we disagree we ask why?; we always try to be kind and loving.”
Visit Pauline’s blog for a wealth of ideas to provide your child great opportunities to learn through play.