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Play Based Learning

This is one of my favorite topics in early childhood education because it is SO crucial to students' learning. Play based learning is often seen in preschools, daycares and early childhood centers but unfortunately tends to get lost as students enter elementary school (yes, even in Kindergarten). So, what is it?

Play-based learning is an educational approach that places play at the center of the learning experience, and recognizes that play as a natural way for children to make sense of the world and develop a range of skills. In a play-based learning environment, activities are age-appropriate and open-ended, allowing students to explore and learn. Play can take various forms, including imaginative play, constructive play, and collaborative play. Educators focus on creating a flexible environment with a variety of materials for students to interact with authentically, and act as facilitators in learning. Play-based learning emphasizes the importance of the process rather than just the end result. It encourages curiosity, creativity, and a positive attitude toward learning. The University of New Hampshire has some great resources about how this is used in the classroom, which is really helpful if this is a teaching method.

This approach to learning incorporates games and dramatic play as well, which is one of my favorite parts of early childhood education. As a teacher, it can be so difficult to stick to the curriculum and add enough play for students. Luckily, parents are able to use more creative techniques at home. Check out this month's favorite book along with the at-home activities and printables!

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