What is Play Based Learning and How Can Schools Improve it?

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Research on brain development has proven that play shapes the structural design of the brain. We know that when we create environments that stimulate and encourage exploration of ideas and activities it assists in building and strengthening brain pathways. Play creates a brain that has increased flexibility, adaptability and it improves student potential for learning later in life.

We know that children are pre-wired to learn. It is a natural process that happens at varying rates when children are given the opportunities to do so. When learning is pleasurable, like play, then learning is accelerated.

Play will sometimes include challenges, frustrations, fears, risks and conflicts but all of these simulate real life and create contexts for learning. Early childhood teachers are often heard saying “what if” and this is a quality of play that when fostered can encourage children to stretch their imagination and activities into new areas.

We encourage children to be physical and verbal. We encourage them to think and engage with materials, people, ideas and an environment that stimulates these essential areas.

Young children’s play allows them to explore, identify, negotiate, take risks and create meaning. Children who play develop memory, language skills, and are able to adjust and modify their behaviour. It leads to an acceleration of learning in both academic contexts as well as social and personal development contexts.

At Kingsgate International School “Play” is a high priority. We know that best practice early learning programs maximize learning through child centered learning environments.


CEO and Education Expert Greg Parry