Did you know that your Child's Early Years are Crucial to his or her Development?
Preschool-aged children’s brains grow rapidly and are around 90% the size of an adult’s brain by the age of six. This development enables children to acquire functional abilities like moving their bodies, comprehending the world, problem-solving, interacting with others, and controlling their emotions and behaviour. Early childhood experiences influence brain connections that define a child’s functional development.
In fact, according to a Harvard Centre on the Developing Child study, positive early experiences contribute to a longer life expectancy, greater general health, and an increased ability to manage stress.
This means that early childhood learning is extremely important in your child’s life, and playing is a significant part of it. We see children explore, take risks, use their imaginations, and solve issues while playing. This is how they learn important skills that aid in their social, physical, and cognitive growth. This is the essence of play-based learning.
Did you know that long-term social-emotional capabilities are strengthened when children have the opportunity to learn via play?
Yup! It creates strong relationships and allows their developing brains to mature in a loving, language-rich, and relatively leisurely setting.
The Early Years Learning Framework defines play-based learning as “a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations.”
As your child makes sense of the world around them, play-based learning appeals to their innate curiosity and desire to engage in activities based on their own particular interests.
Play-based learning is an important aspect of human development. As a result, it is vital for parents to recognise that, while the desire to play is natural, a component must be properly nurtured. And so, it should be initiated by the kid and supported by the teacher/parent.
Tip: At home, customise the way in which you're teaching your child by understanding the type of play that your child is engaging in.
Through interaction and inquiry, initiate and foster play-based learning. For instance, if your child is playing a block game, ask a question that stimulates problem-thinking, predictions, and hypothesising. Play-based, real-life, and imaginative activities can help your child develop creative and critical thinking skills.
To make play-based learning work, you must create an environment that encourages your child to participate. Play-based learning consists of four components, which are as follows:
- Self-direction: Your child should be allowed to choose what and how they play. You can supervise, accompany, or possibly give suggestions, but your child should make the final decision.
- Unstructured Exploration: Your child should be free to explore and choose things or activities based on their interests. Create an environment that provides numerous possibilities, but leave the final decision to him/her.
Play-based learning in a child’s early years has a variety of advantages, including the development of intellectual skills, motivation, and thinking. Many early childhood educators have included play-based learning into their teaching and practices.
According to a 2012 study, the advantages of play-based learning in preschool education are numerous! For starters, it improves children’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. It claims that when children learn while playing, their early development progress improves from 33% to 67% by enhancing adjustment, improving language, and minimising social and emotional difficulties.
At Vedam, we make it our utmost priority to ensure that each child is learning through play when it is connected to something they are already familiar with. Teachers at Vedam are trained in a way that each concept is introduced in a manner wherein a child feels that he/she is playing.
The green and open surroundings of the school make it an ideal place for fun-filled learning. On a bright winter day, classes are not conducted in a closed room but on open green lawns or under the thatch roof.
The curriculum of Vedam is planned in a manner where each child gets lots of time for ‘Unstructured’ and ‘make-believe’ playtime. There are many days when children choose their own activities for the day.
Our program combines play-based learning with other learning philosophies like Montessori, Waldorf, and Maria Montessori. We also suggest that at home, parents can expose the child to materials like playdough, sand, lego, beads and building blocks.