Children learn so much through play. It allows them to explore, discover, negotiate, take risks, create meaning and solve problems – all the important foundations for developing literacy, numeracy and social skills. And while it may sound simple and easy, play-based learning is a complex form that requires an experienced educator who knows each child’s overall development, emerging strengths and interests.
Through play-based learning skilled educators can introduce and reinforce concepts we want children to learn in a way that engages each child’s interests
An example, when parents give their child a puzzle to do, its an opportunity to interact and have fun together. But for an early childhood educator, its an opportunity to work with children to explore educational concepts such as pattern-matching, problem-solving, numerical and mathematical concepts such as part/whole and shape, along with language skills too. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to help children develop self-confidence and self-esteem at the same time. You see, play-based learning is purposeful and what we call ‘intentional’. Educators carefully and deliberately plan play based experiences to help children learn about educational concepts involved in literacy, numeracy, technology, social skills and more in a way that’s meaningful and enjoyable to them.
Play-based learning capitalises on children’s natural sense of inquiry and discovery through hands-on exploration of the world around them, Educators embed elements of teaching and learning within the play experiences that children are interested in and naturally drawn down to – and therefore more likely to stay engaged with. This is why the educator has to know each individual child so well, to know what they are interested in and how each child learns best
Here’s an example: educators may be attending to explore aspects of early numeracy and literacy with the children in their group. However, this learning does not take place in an old fashioned “chalk and talk: type lesson. Rather the educators will embed aspects of numeracy and literacy within the play that children are currently exploring. So, some children in the room, who may be exploring gardening, may be encouraged to chart how their veggie patch has changed over the past month. While another group of children may be supported to write/draw a menu for their pretend restaurant, while yet another child who is deeply interested in dinosaurs may be encouraged to discuss and document the similarities and differences between the various dinosaurs he has come across. These early literacy skills of pre-writing, drawing and mathematical concepts of classifying and charting are explored through play in ways that are authentic to the child.
Making children’s learning visible
Children are active learners and they learn naturally through exploration – by touching, moving, listening, seeing and experiencing. Our educators’ roles are to support and enrich your child’s learning by
- Providing resources and opportunities for the children to explore
- Using materials, such as paint, clay, musical instruments and writing equipment’s for children to express themselves
- Questioning and encouraging children to think clearly, investigate and solve problems
- We record and collect each child’s experiences, ideas and creative expressions to help us build a rich and individual learning programme
Every child is different. Each one has a special set of qualities and skills and brings their own blend of experiences and perspectives to their learning. Therefore, at Little Bambinos, there is no “one-size-fits-all” programme. Our educators create a unique learning programme for your child, designed to bring out the best in their emerging competencies, interests and strengths.
The Little Bambinos family is a rich and vibrant blend of cultures, backgrounds and experiences, and when your family joins us, we want to get to know you. By building a strong, meaningful relationship with all our families, we can individualise learning experiences to better suit your Childs’s culture, interest, needs, abilities, disabilities and learning style.