Why learning through play is important
Play is one of the most important aspects of children’s upbringing. From the very early years throughout adolescence and into adulthood, play nurtures and develops the breadth of skills that enable us to be powerful agents of our own lives and positive contributors to our communities.
Characteristics of playful experiences
We say learning through play happens when the activity: 1) is experienced as joyful, 2) helps children find meaning in what they are doing or learning, 3) involves active, engaged, minds-on thinking, 4) as well as iterative thinking (experimentation, hypothesis testing, etc.) and 5) social interaction. These five characteristics draw on evidence for how children learn best (the Science of Learning) and how to foster a playful mindset.