The benefits of play are recognized by the scientific community. There is now evidence that neural pathways in children’s brains are influenced and advanced in their development through exploration, thinking skills, problem solving, and language expression that occur during play.
Research also demonstrates that play-based learning leads to greater social, emotional and academic success. Learning through play is supported by early years experts. Psychologist David Elkin states that “play is not only our creative drive; it’s a fundamental mode of learning. Lev Vygotsky identified play as the leading source of development in terms of emotional, social, physical, language, or cognitive development.
When children are engaged in purposeful play, they are discovering, creating, improvising, and expanding their learning. Play lies at the core of innovation and creativity. It provides opportunities for learning in a context in which children are at their most receptive.
Play expands intelligence, stimulates the imagination, encourages creative problem solving, and helps develop confidence, self-esteem, and a positive attitude toward learning (Dr. Fraser Mustard)
Play is the cornerstone of our curriculum-understood to be essential to the healthy social and cognitive development of children. Our curriculum takes a child initiated, adult supported approach that focuses on play-based learning, allowing the child to take the lead and then focusing on the child’s interests through intentional observation, positive interaction and engaged communication. When this approach to learning takes place along with responsive and caring Early Childhood Educators understanding of child development, each child’s learning and individual development is supported and as a result the child’s competence, capacity and potential are maximized.