The great Scientist, Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research.”
And we agree, play they must!
But as children go on to explore and make discoveries on their own, it is our duty as early childhood educators, to guide this learning and ensure each child gains important lessons from each play experience, no matter how big or small.
As our educational program at Parfrey Road Education & Childcare embraces the principles of the national Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), we not only hope to acheive EYLF learning outcomes through play, but also to enhance these outcomes through intentional teaching.
Early Birds Educator and Rochedale Centre Director, Sherry Price says, “A variety of individual and group activities are encouraged through the opportunity of spontaneous play.”
‘Spontaneous play’ allows children to use their creativity and take ownership of the activities and learning experiences they partipicate in throughout each day.
This ‘child lead process’ not only allows them to become more independent, but while they’re busy having fun, they’re also developing their imaginations, dexterity, physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
Sherry says, one of the top priorities at Parfrey Road is that, “Children are made to feel safe and secure,” thus allowing them to relax and let their natural curiosity and desire to explore their environment take hold.
It is through this natural ‘state of play’, that children first learn to interact with the world around them.
However, it’s not just about the ‘play’ itself. We hope to positively enhance these play experiences and ensure children maintain an interest in learning and build ongoing learning dispositions.
While a child may decide to play with a teddy bear puzzle on his or her own accord, we might ask the child further questions about the colours or shapes of that puzzle, or even open a discussion for further learning about what the child seemed most interested in, such as bears.
It’s not so important what we teach the children, but how we let them learn that matters.
The learning journey is their’s, we’re just here to be a guide.