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Learning Through Play | By Miss Lina (Grow ELC Girraween)

What is learning through play? Learning through play describes how children learn to make sense of the world and find meaning in experiences by connecting them to something known. Through play, children can express and develop their understanding of their experiences, practice skills, experiment, adapt their approach to situations and face new challenges. 

Play helps to foster children’s creativity and build their imaginations. It gives them opportunities to build confidence (and feel satisfaction from accomplishments), as well as try new things, express feelings, interact with others, and refine a variety of skills.

Grow ELC early learning play-based learning environments

Grow ELC early learning play-based environments give the children a chance to discover, respect and play in local natural spaces, experiment with equipment including the sandpit and obstacle course, practice fundamental movement skills, participate in yoga and meditation, or simply sit with others to paint or draw.

We believe in self-choice in play as being one of the most important factors in children’s growth. At Grow ELC, children are hands-on learners and learn best when they are given some control over their play experiences. They should be given the opportunity to make decisions and experiment in safe and stimulating environment. Getting children actively involved in the way they learn and play can be as simple as allowing them to decide:

  • Which objects or toys to play with
  • Which books to read
  • What activities to do, e.g. painting or playing with blocks
  • Who they want to play with, e.g. on their own, with other children, or with Educators

We incorporate a balance of both unstructured and structured play into a child’s day to ensure they receive enough stimulation through the introduction of new ideas and activities, while encouraging them to explore these activities in their own way to activate creativity and fire-up their imagination.

Children are encouraged to play with toys, play with other children and adults, engage in imaginary play or participate in physical play – all depending on their interests at the time. By focusing on the child’s interests, early learning programs like child-led learning, can embed essential STEM learning like mathematics and science into play.

While the form of play will change, the focus is always on the development of knowledge and skills, both alone and through interactions with others.

We have a responsive teaching style, with values that scaffolds and extends each child’s strengths, skills, knowledge, interests and ideas; and child-directed learning which promotes children’s agency.

Sensory exploration

In the last month, the children were focussed on nature. The children were engaged in discovering their surroundings, such as gardening and insects. As an extension of this learning, we have provided an awesome learning experience where the children witnessed first-hand and learnt about the life cycle of the butterfly. The children also learnt about how to look after the garden and about different herbs. They also picked and tasted cherry tomatoes and strawberries from the garden, thus also promoting healthy eating choices.

Gardening experiences can heighten all senses in children. It provides the opportunity for the children to engage all five senses to explore and understand the process of gardening and where food comes from. Gardening also teaches responsibility to the children, as they learn that it is our job to look after the plants and to water them in order for them to be healthy.

Sustainability will be our main project along with the Quail program that we all are looking forward to embark in valuable educational and life skills in the next few months.

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