"Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion, but by play.” - Plato
At Lifelong Learning Centres we place an emphasis on play based learning for our children, but what does this mean?
“We use talking, story-telling, singing and play to help your child learn about language,” says Education Consultant Jesser Essex.
“We encourage drawing and making marks, which leads to writing – whether its crayons and pencils, marks in the mud or playing with magnetic letters.”
“We use everyday mathematical ideas, such as counting, measuring, shapes and sorting to build your child’s confidence and capability with problem solving.”
Play is a way that children interact with the world around them from an evolutionary level. It’s generally associated with fun and joy and can consist of interpersonal (play with others) and intrapersonal (playing alone) interactions that build a view of how the world works.
It’s through these levels of play that children develop social skills they’ll use everyday to interact and communicate with others. This includes verbal and non-verbal communication, such as speech, gestures, facial expression and body language.
A child who learns how to behave appropriately in social situations and to read both written and unwritten social rules is seen to have strong social skills. However, how does play allow them to learn this?
Free and unstructured play creates what we refer to as ‘child-led learning’ - an important way for children to learn about their world in their early years.
“As children grow they learn about the way the world works by making up games with rules, as well as ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ and playing fair. They will also learn how to control their impulses in order to do well on the playground and be accepted by their peers.” says Education Manager Fiona Young.
Playing games enables children to learn about personal space, negotiating and problem solving, but most of all it allows children to have an outlet to relax and have fun.
Each room in a Lifelong Learning Centre is set up to reflect the interests of the children and to stimulate enquiry, exploration and engagement, along with quiet spaces for ‘alone time’.
All children are encouraged to follow their own routine and sense of adventure. Every day is a little bit different - and every day is always full of fun!
To find out more about your closest Lifelong Learning Centre call 1800 CHILDCARE.