Active play

little boy holding flowers for teacher to smell

From the basics to beyond!

The phrase “back to basics” is often heard in our field. However, a more motivational approach for teachers would be “toward the basics and beyond!”

 

“The kinds of traditional play that children have done naturally for generations is still at the foundation of the work that we do with children,” writes Deborah Murphy. “We have the wisdom of the sages through the ages, but we also have the wisdom of the children right here, right now.”

 

“‘Teacher! Look!’ they say to us. It is good advice. Let’s watch and appreciate their deep engagement, singular focus, and creative innovation. We often discuss modelling behaviour for children. What about flipping that paradigm?” Read more.

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little girl doing role play under an Outlast table with flowie outdoors

Making sense of the world through role play

“The very existence of youth is due in part to the necessity for play; the animal does not play because it is young, it has a period of youth because it must play.” – Karl Groos, German biologist 1861-1946

 

Because children, like baby animals, learn best through play, it is in our best interest to create enabling environments which will ensure that their play naturally fulfils the EYFS learning and development requirements. Here's how role play can incorporate all seven areas of learning and development.

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boy on a rope swing outdoors

Rae Pica: The 3 things that have changed

“Early childhood educators tell me lots of stories when I keynote or train,” writes US early years consultant Rae Pica. “Since I’ve been speaking and training for almost four decades, you can imagine how many stories I’ve heard. But lately I keep hearing the same three stories from teachers, repeatedly. It’s disturbing—and it needs to be addressed.”

 

If you’re in the early childhood field you can probably guess what these three issues are. Read Rae’s take here.

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girl looking through outlast block

Play: a key dynamic in early childhood development

How do we support children’s learning through play? An effective play educator “engineers learning experiences that put children in the driving seat and then gets out of the way for a while”, write Pam Mundy and Sue Egersdorff. “They (genuinely) smile a lot, provide constant reassurance, and are fun to be with.”

 

Read the fourth article in the “Model for living” series, which encourages and inspires us towards helping children develop a playful approach to learning and life.

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little girl climbing up stairs, active play, outdoors, physical play

The power of physical play

Children love to move. Physical play is vital to their growth as learners and helps to develop body awareness, fine motor control, concentration, perseverance and social skills.

The Power of Physical Play is a documentary film made by Siren Films in order to help adults who work with children understand the significance of physical play and its learning potential for the growing child. Watch the trailer.

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