Learning Through Play

Learning Through Play – Why it Matters

Learning through play

Learning through play is hugely important for a child’s development. Through play we learn how to communicate with others, develop our language and critical thinking skills and build self-confidence.

What does learning through play mean?

So, what is learning through play?

Babies and children learn about the world through play; developing their social and cognitive skills as they make sense of the world around them.

It’s crucial that these natural-born skills are nurtured and supported as they grow.

How do children learn through play?

Children learn through play by experimental learning; that is, by doing, asking questions, communicating and creating.

Learning through play activities are not only a chance for children to practice different role dynamics, teamwork and verbalising their own opinions but for their own self-awareness when being around others.

This can help ensure they go on to form strong, positive friendships at school.

What are the benefits of learning through play?

There are many respected theories that support the importance of learning through play and the benefits to a child’s early development.

One example is from professor Tina Bruce, who is interested in child development through play. Tina says, “Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood.”

A play-based approach to learning often sparks creativity as children are frequently making imaginative decisions for themselves and experimenting with trial and error through imaginative worlds, role playing or trying an array of new activities they have not previously been exposed to.

Learning through play research also supports the overall holistic development of a child, which focuses on a safe and proactive way for children to grow emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially.

Play can also offer a window to measure a child’s current development. With the wide amount of resources available, the appropriate type of play can be put into place whether you should wish to measure a child’s language, communication, technological or reading skills etc.

What skills are learned through play?

There are many skills developed through play. One of the most important are the choices that come with playing give children a sense of independence, and thus responsibility is just one of the many.

This could range from deciding on which colour to use for a picture to the order they wish to complete activities for a task, or even methods they chose to work in a group.

Early developments of this skill and language development through play are likely to set them well for environments that require such responsibility and confidence, as they grow.

What are examples of learning through play?

Imagining and thinking are often expressed through play; allowing children to experiment and practice learned behaviour and develop their language skills with others in a safe, and sometimes make-believe, setting. Faux environments that include sand, water or play dough are popular uses to enhance this learning.

Extending children’s learning through play can be achieved through playing with friends or in groups as it provides the perfect environment for early developments in their social, emotional and verbal behaviour as they can explore new environments, situations and challenges together.

Other learning through play ideas includes sensory play, activities outdoors, crafts, puzzles and games.

First Wonder Box was created so that children can experience the benefits of play-based learning; stimulating children’s learning and problem-solving skills by a range of fun and unique activities.

“Learning through play is about continuity; bringing together children’s spheres of life – home, school and the wider world, and doing so over time.”

 Susan MacKay, Director of Teaching and Learning at Portland Children’s Museum

Play is the answer as to how anything new came about. 

Jean Piaget

What’s in a First Wonder Box?

Did you know?

Play is an essential part of a child’s development. Through creative activities, imaginative play and simple games, children develop cognitive and social skills, while growing in confidence as they make sense of the world around them.