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Learning Through Play!

One of the things that has been most important in my career is being able to understand and use the concept of Learning Through Play (LTP)! LTP is something that is evident or should be evident, in every single ECD center or preschool, as this is the best way for children to have meaningful learning experiences. When we think of LTP we can easily understand from it that it is learning, and we use Play! 
Simple? Unfortunately, the reality in a lot of the rural preschools and ECD centers is that they do not understand what it is, and this leads to a very structured and formal learning environment in which some children really struggle and are not able to express themselves freely!
 20240502 BM Learning Through Play

What is Learning Through Play?
Well, it is simple, Learning through play is a pedagogical approach where play is the valued mode of learning – where children can explore, experiment, discover, and solve problems in imaginative and playful ways. Learning through play is also called play-based learning, so all activities allow the child to play, and through that learn. We encourage all our center-based practitioners and assistants to ensure that activities are Play based and give children free choice to be able to make decisions and do what they enjoy. Research and a lot of surveys prove that LTP have many benefits and they allow a lot of freedom for children to be able to explore and have new experiences.
Some of the benefits of LTP are:
  • Play is meaningful, it allows a child to make sense of the world around them. It gives them free choice in choosing what they want to do! 
  • Play is joyful, the overall feeling a child experiences is enjoyment, motivation to learn, and joy! Just to see the smile on a child’s face when they play is priceless! 
  • Play is actively engaging, children become deeply involved in what they are doing. They go into a different world and become someone else! 
  • Play is iterative, children practice skills and try new things, they are able to discover new challenges which leads to deeper learning. 
  • Play is socially interactive, it allows a child to communicate ideas, and to understand others. This leads to building powerful relationships
In Conclusion
Play is an essential strategy for learning and teaching and the more we encourage our practitioners to use it the more it benefits children. Our aim and hope at Starfish, is to encourage Learning Through Play in all our centers and spread the word of its value and importance in the ECD space! Our children are our future, and we need to ensure that their foundation is one that is built on stability, confidence, self-esteem and for them to be given a choice on what they want to do!