Shaping your Child’s Education Through Play

Our Eid Celebrations – June 2017
29th June 2017
Our Employee of the Month: September 2017
4th September 2017

Shaping your Child’s Education Through Play

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:

  • Child Initiated Play – A type of play that gives children the opportunity to play with what they wish, using toys and resources in many ways to fulfil their own agenda of play. This could be using a stick as a magic wand or simply choosing to play with their favourite toy. It’s a great opportunity for children to re-enact the experiences they have had or to use their imagination.
  • Adult led – These are play opportunities organised and led by an adult. The adult, tailoring the activity to the individual children, will plan have used the child’s interests or learning style to engage a child in a particular activity. The activity builds on the knowledge the child already has however provides opportunity to learn new words, experience new things or gain an understanding of something new.
  • Adult Initiated Play – Opportunities for play are set up by adults for children to explore and discover. Our nursery environment is a perfect example of adult initiated play. Our staff carefully plan the resources and activities that children have continuous access to ensure they challenge and engage children in their learning. Adults may also show this type of play by adding and building upon a child’s chosen play. Adults carefully add items or speak with the children during their play to build knowledge and share thoughts.

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.