Play-Based Learning

FAST FACTS

 

CHILDREN IN A PLAY-BASED LEARNING PROGRAM:

  • are more likely to grow to be well-adjusted, healthy adults
  • become adept at emotional self-regulation (the ability to produce socially appropriate emotional responses in less-than-ideal situations)
  • master impulse control (the ability to regulate or prevent a socially inappropriate urge or action) and avoid negative behaviors
  • learn to build relationships, resolve conflict, and successfully navigate peer interactions
  • exhibit increased feelings of achievement and optimism as they make their own choices
  • demonstrate improved wellbeing, as play is a known stress-release
  • more effectively develop the basics of literacy, math, and scientific concepts
  • learn to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks, and create meaning
  • are more likely to have well-developed memory skills and language development
  • benefit from equal or better results in academic skills than those denied play
  • experience enhanced school adjustment and academic learning

QUALITIES OF A PLAY-BASED PROGRAM:

  • learning happens through fun, engaging experiences connected to children’s lives
  • indoor and outdoor areas facilitate play and learning
  • varied play spaces and materials are offered: art, dramatic play, sensory, construction
  • children choose materials, play independently, and transform play spaces
  • children’s uninterrupted play—when they get transfixed by an activity—is protected, laying the groundwork for vital learning skills like concentration and attention span
  • reading, writing, and math are introduced through real, meaningful situations and active learning rather than disconnected, passive, classroom instruction
  • different abilities and learning styles are recognized and catered to
  • children can work alone or with others—teachers are able to discern whether a child needs solo space or togetherness for optimum learning
  • there is a balance of child-led, child initiated, and educator-supported learning
  • children’s ideas and interests are allowed to create new experiences
  • teachers are empowered to recognize spontaneous teachable moments as they occur and adjust the environment and routine—customizing each experience to the needs and interests of each individual group of children