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APRIL 1, 2014 BY KATIE 28 COMMENTS
Play-based learning is one of the best ways that children learn, and preschool teachers wish every parent knew how important this is!
For the longest time, I tried to figure out what “learning through play” meant. Some thoughts that ran through my head were:
- Is it structured?
- Does it involve planning?
- What is the role of the teacher or adult?
- Are children really learning?
Don’t get me wrong, I learned about it in college, but it’s one thing to read about it and another to see it working in action.
I have always worked for preschool programs that have honored and implemented learning through play, but it wasn’t until I started my own program that I could fully embrace it and see the long-term results of a play-based curriculum.
I have a licensed preschool in my home, and I have my kiddos for a couple of years which allows me to see growth that I would have never experienced in just one year or with a class with high turnover. My eyes have truly been opened to the incredible impact that learning through play makes!
Play-based Learning: What is learning through play?
It’s actually kind of magical…
On several occasions, I have been told,
“Ms. Katie, we cannot believe how much our child is learning. He is gaining so much from you in preschool.”
The truth is that all I am doing is facilitating. I don’t have an academically vigorous program, and worksheets are a rare exposure. Each child is learning through hands-on activities that she is interested in, and I am there to provide creative outlets, guidance, and ideas for new learning opportunities.
Perhaps one of the hardest aspects about play-based learning is that it is not a manual you can find on a bookshelf. Instead, our play-based curriculum is developed in the minds of my students and myself. We let creativity, ingenuity, and our interests be our guide.