Essentials of Play-Based Learning for Kindergarten Children

Posted on: 17 November 2020

Kindergarten programs in Australia differ from one state to another, but the fundamentals are the same. The system is meant to expose kids to quality early childhood education. Kindergarten programs provide a nurturing and safe environment for children to develop independence, confidence, self-worth, and self-awareness as they prepare to transition to a formalised education system. A play-based learning program is a form of learning whereby children make sense of the world through interactions with objects, people, and representations. Kids that enrol in play-based learning schedules attain a host of benefits which improve social competence, cognitive skills, and imagination. Read on to find out how your kindergarten-going child can benefit from play-based learning.

Principles of Play-Based Programs

At the heart of play-based learning lies three principles — the environment, a child, and a teacher. For the approach to work, the learning environment should be conducive for your child to play and explore their interests. In a kindergarten setting, the environment should allow a child to express their thoughts through playing with toys, painting, drawing, singing, dancing and storytelling. The strategy views a child as an architect of their destiny, who uses play to generate meaningful learning experiences. Lastly, a teacher offers guidance, mentoring, and observation as opposed to directing a child in the learning process.

Play-Based Learning Complements Conventional Learning

Although direct instruction and teacher-led learning are the most common kindergarten learning methods, they can be reinforced by quality play-based learning. As children spend more time playing and interacting with objects and other kids, they become more active in the learning process. The problem with most traditional learning programs is that they view play as a reward for good behaviour. However, in play-based programs, the more your child takes time playing, the more they learn about the world.

Types of Play-Based Activities

There are tonnes of activities that kindergarten children can engage in to improve their learning at school and at home. Cooking experiences and outdoor play such as gardening are integral in play-based learning because they instil knowledge and skills that might benefit your child in the future. Other activities include cultural projects, art-based education, field excursions, and appreciation of indigenous culture.

Play Improves a Child's Imagination and Creativity

A play-based kindergarten program stimulates imagination and creativity. Play stimulates your child's drive for discovery and exploration. When children interact through play, they can find solutions to issues that they face during a game. Over time, a kid will become more curious and imaginative, helping them develop essential life skills. Remember that for creativity to be realised, a child should choose the type of play they enjoy the most.

For more information, reach out to a kindergarten program in your area.