Play Based Learning
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
– Fred Rogers
Children possess a natural curiosity about the world around them.
When children explore and play, they are following their natural instincts to feed that curiosity and make sense of the world around them. At Play Mountain Place, children are given space and time to focus on learning about our world through play. When children are free to pursue their own interests through play, they can gain knowledge and learn many skills.
Through play, children gain self-direction and self-motivation. They experience what it’s like to make plans, set their own goals and solve their own problems. Children become more self-reliant and self-assured when they are in charge of their own learning process.
Through play, children gain freedom and autonomy. They are able to take more initiative and rely less on adults and teachers to show them “the right way.”
Play involves cooperation and negotiation, because if other children are unhappy, the game will end. Children have to learn to navigate varying social situations in order to keep their games going.
Play is used by children to make sense of their world. Anything that a child is trying to understand or is processing will be shown through his/her play. In order to play together children must learn to understand their own emotions and the emotions of their playmates.
Play can encompass a wide range of subjects, including but not limited to: math (when children are weighing objects, counting friends or pouring water), literacy (writing notes, looking at books or hearing stories being read), science (mixing ingredients, floating objects, observing nature), and history (telling stories about their family, sharing important parts of their lives and drawing themselves or people they love).
Through play, children may also develop qualities and skills such as: curiosity; creativity; critical thinking; collaboration; courage; empathy; conflict resolution; compassion; enthusiasm; self-expression of ideas, feelings, and needs; a strong sense of self and tolerance of differences.