Churchill Park Family Care Society’s implements a learning through play philosophy. As touched on in our November Newsletter, Play is Learning! Think of play as a way to try new things, build new skills and practice existing skills. Through play children get opportunities to challenge assumptions, expand their thoughts and ideas, and cultivate creative and innovative approaches. An example of this is how scientists and inventors often learn things by experimenting; through trial and error, new discoveries are made. This newsletter outlines the meaningful impact on your child’s development when Educators plan play experiences to guide children’s learning.
What do we mean by play? Play is voluntary, initiated by your child, and has flexibility. In our programs, play is used to provide opportunities to foster growth in specific learning areas identified by observing children. At Churchill Park, we want Educators and parents take on an active role of guiding the learning through play process by carefully planning for the environment in the following ways:
- Time-the way that educators decide to use the time available in the program. Research shows children need large blocks of time to develop play themes and ideas.
- Space & Materials -Considering the layout of space, furniture and resources. How activities are presented, and materials displayed so they are arranged in provoking and inviting ways to encourage exploration, learning and inquiry.
- Social and emotional environment-Children need secure, warm and trusting relationships so they are confident in exploring and risk-taking. Together, children and adults set the emotional and social atmosphere of the classroom.
- Making meaning of learning-there are times to let children explore freely and times for intentional conversation. Educators and parents can extend learning through well-placed question or query, both through conversation or allowing children to undertake problem-solving experiences. Educators will document these moments to make meaning of children’s learning.