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Why Play Is Important

Let the Children Play

Play is very important for children. Through play young children explore and learn to understand the world around them as they come to communicate, discover, imagine and create. When children play they are showing what they have learned and what they are trying to understand. This is why learning through play is one of the foundations of the Early Years Learning Framework. Our play-based program does not mean that children just do what they like all day. In a play-based program there will be times when children come together as a group, listen when others are talking, follow the rules of group living and begin to take responsibility for their actions and their environment.

 

What does a play-based approach look like at Puss in Boots?

 

Our educators use a wide range of play based experiences for children’s learning and development rather than using structured ‘lessons’ or formal teaching experiences. They set up activities indoors and outdoors that are age appropriate, which can be played safely and enjoyably by every child.

 

Our educators encourage children’s learning through play by:

Play Based 2.1

 

  • providing resources that reflect children’s ages, interests, knowledge, strengths, abilities and culture to stimulate and support play. Resources which allow open ended use of items like blocks or cardboards boxes foster creativity and the ability to manipulate concepts mentally as children. For example, turn a box into a car.
  • planning play experiences based on the assessment of children’s individual differences, interests, developmental needs and ability. For example, as a child learns to hold a pencil to draw and write, educators will give children different sized objects to grasp, and to build strength in the child’s fingers.

 

  • observing children as they play so that they can understand how they play with other children, what skills and understanding they demonstrate in play and what activities can strengthen their skills in play.
  • joining in children’s play to extend the child’s learning and to model skills such as reasoning, appropriate language, and positive behaviours.
  • providing large blocks of unhurried and uninterrupted time for play for children’s ideas and games to develop.

Play Based 1

Indoor and outdoor play experiences planned by our educators that you can expect to see include: drawing, cutting and pasting with scissors and glue, using recycled materials, building with blocks, construction toys, jig-saw puzzles, messy play, finger painting, pretend cooking in the sandpit, play dough and clay, playing games, dramatic play, dressing up, puppets, painting, hammering, dancing, singing, climbing, jumping, running, skipping, listening to stories in English and other languages, story-telling, imaginative play, reading books, water play, gardening and much more. Play is important for all children, it helps them to make sense of their world and continue to develop.

Choices Reflect Children’s Developmental Stages

 

Children are offered choices that reflect their developmental stage. The choices are determined by the educators and are provided within limits of safety and within the group setting. The educators continually evaluate children’s play to discover what it is children are learning and to then help shape and extend this learning.

 

Our day is filled with opportunities to test our skills, build on our ability to communicate and interact with others, gain new knowledge and retest learned skills.

 

It’s about the process of learning and never about a produced product, it’s about fun, it’s about being safe, nurtured and trusted.
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