Learning Through Play
How do children learn in their early years?
They learn through play.
What does that mean?
Allowing children the freedom to explore, formulate questions and
answers in their mind, build on their interests, try things out, test out
their own theories, assess risk in their play, and become effective
learners that are intrigued and excited about the world around them.
Role of the adult
• support exploration
• follow the child’s lead and line of fascination.
• encourage them to have a go, to build on what they already
know and open the door to more opportunity and possibilities.
• make sure we keep them safe whilst allowing them the space
to take considered risks.
• ensure that children are not in danger, but also consider the
risk benefit to something the children are doing.
• encourage and relish messy play! Letting them explore
different textures, using all their senses to experience it
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The key to children’s learning is having active play experiences, with adults to talk
to them and support what they are doing.
The curriculum highlights the ‘characteristics of effective learning’.
• playing and exploring
• active learning
• creativity and critical thinking
We support children with these characteristics of effective learning by providing quality, open ended and exciting opportunities that enable the children to explore, question, have a go and practice.
• There are 7 areas of learning and development in the early years:
• 3 prime areas:
• Communication and language
• Physical development
• Personal, social and emotional development
• 4 specific areas:
• Understanding the world
• Expressive arts and design