There is an old saying that says, ‘Give a fishman and he eats for a day, teach humans to fish, and he eats for life’. This is a mantra for early education teachers because they are responsible for building strong foundations for learning that children can then build when they go up to class. They don’t want to just give children answers, but want them to learn how to get answers for themselves and a great way to achieve that through play-based learning.
Play-based learning allows children to think creatively, explore, investigate, and ask questions about the world around them by playing. This does not mean giving up a smartphone or tablet to them and then walking away, but giving them material that they can manipulate, wake up, create, and think at their own pace in their own time.
Children naturally want to know and will ask many, many questions throughout the day. Allowing them to find out how things work alone or with friends allows them to understand things better while giving them a sense of accomplishment.
Play develops the foundation for intellectual, physical, emotional, and social skills, all the skills needed for success throughout life. And the best thing about play based learning? Children like to play and they don’t see it as any learning, but just having fun. Learning and doing for children is related, they don’t see the difference between academic learning and play, that is, they don’t understand that they learn when they do but they. Play-based learning allows children to actively solve problems, it helps them with math and literacy skills and helps them develop social skills such as solving problems with others, sharing opinions with others and developing ideas about the world around them.
Not surprisingly, many preschool and kindergarten programs around the world have adopted this teaching model. This allows children to think creatively in terms of what they want to do and how they will achieve their goals. Children who leave the program have many necessary skills that will serve them well when they join primary and secondary schools and continue their learning. The type of foundation they get early on is very helpful in learning their future.