Play-based learning is described in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) as ‘a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they actively engage with people, objects and representations’. But what is play? Play is hard to define as there are a number of theories and types of play.
Children learn best through experiences that are fun and interesting to them. Play is an important and useful tool to help your child engage in purposeful and meaningful activities and to build relationships with others.
Young children’s play allows them to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks and create meaning. The intellectual and cognitive benefits of playing have been well documented. Children who engage in quality play experiences are more likely to have well-developed memory skills, language development, and are able to regulate their behaviour, leading to enhanced school adjustment and academic learning.
Let’s look at some ways to encourage your child to play with you or other people at home:
Some activities to try:
- Peek-a-boo games
- Blowing bubbles
- Sand play
- Water games
- Play-doh or goop
- Parachute games
- Cause-and-effect toys
- Musical instruments
- Slides, see-saws and swings
Article sources: Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), Bodrova & Leong, Ahrens, G., Greenspan, S. I. & Wieder, S., Solomon, R., Weitzman, E & Pepper, Jan.