Learning Through Play
Young children learn by doing things for themselves; by watching and listening, exploring and investigating, talking and discussing, creating and demolishing; in other words by PLAYING!
Playing is children’s work and as they are very involved in learning through their play, it is very tiring.
That’s why our Nursery is about much more than shapes, colours, numbers and letters. It is about developing children’s curiosity, independence, persistence, confidence and self-belief. We want children to think of their own ideas and find new ways to do things. We want our children to be life-long learners, and encourage them to experiment through play and investigation.
We help children to develop positive attitudes to learning, help them build positive relationships, all through valuable play experiences. We observe children’s play and interests closely, to explore what they are learning and how we can support them towards their ‘next steps’ in their thinking, adding enhancements to our provision based on the children's needs or interests.
Some learning is highly visible, through paintings, mark-making or modelling for example. However some learning has no concrete physical ‘outcome’, but is just as valuable, e.g. climbing to the top of the climbing frame, building a friendship, closely examining a worm in the garden or showing concern for a friend who has hurt themselves.
As stated in the Birth to 5 Matters Framework:
Play, both indoors and outdoors, makes a powerful contribution to children’s wellbeing, development and learning. Children play, not least because it is often fun and offers a joyful opportunity for engaging in many different activities and being with others. As they play children immerse themselves in what most interests them, and in the process find out about themselves, other people, and the world around them. Because play is open-ended and flexible, children can explore and experiment with confidence, take risks and challenge themselves at the limits of their capabilities, without fear of failure.
(Birth to 5 Matters: Non-statutory guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage - 2021)