In the words of Albert Einstein ‘Play is the highest form of research’.
Our parents often ask how play shapes their child’s learning. Play is pivotal to children’s learning. Play provides a fun, stimulating experience that engages children and helps embed learning. If we don’t play, we don’t try new things; we don’t explore and most importantly we don’t find out new things.
Play underpins learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others.
The role that adults have is crucial. Adults provide time and space and appropriate resources. These might include clothes, boxes, buckets, old blankets that will inspire play and fire children’s imaginations. They observe play and join in when invited, watching and listening before intervening. They value play and provide safe but challenging environments that support and extend learning and development.
Good quality learning environments and experiences are key for children. At Heaton House play can take many forms. It can be:
At Heaton House our environment and activities allow for all three types of play. We ensure children have ample opportunity to develop independence and have new experiences to enhance their knowledge and understanding.