Edu World !
The Vaekke EYFS blog
Learning through play
As a baby our daughter loved water. We realized this when we would place her in the baby tub for a bath. Her excitement and squeals of delight as she splashed in the water gave us an inkling that she was a ‘water baby’. As months passed, we put her in a larger child-friendly basin, half filled with water in the living room of our apartment and allowed her to splash around, in our presence. She took to water like a fish. At four years, she could navigate the swimming pool with ease. With guidance and coaching she developed a graceful, effortless style of swimming; in addition to several prizes in swimming competitions.
“The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself.” – Maria Montessori
Children like to play and make discoveries of things around them through their five senses. By nature, they are curious and playful. Conventionally, children’s playfulness is considered part of their childishness and often left at that. The truth is, play, plays an exceedingly important role in learning and all-round development of the child than most parents realize. It is key to instilling a sense of curiosity, expressiveness, discovery and team work. As parents and early learning facilitators, we can leverage this innate ability for play and discovery to identify their talents and gifts, and boost their overall growth – intellectual, creative, physical and emotional.
All of us learn by doing things the wrong way, before learning to do it the right way. While learning to walk, a baby first rolls over, then crawls, then tries to stand up with support, take a few staggering steps, falls, but ultimately the child acquires the skill of walking steady. This is how we humans acquire any skill. Once we discover the benefits of doing something the right way, we naturally gravitate in that direction.
In today’s fast changing world where adapting and reskilling oneself is critical for growth and survival, learning through play will make skill acquisition a pleasurable, fun activity that children eagerly look forward to. In the course of play-learning, their resilience, initiative, critical thinking, resourcefulness, quick decision making, analytical and cognitive skills are developed and honed. These skills will serve them well in their careers as they grow into productive adults. If we look at most child prodigies and great achievers, a common denominator can be seen. They had unflinching support, affirmation and encouragement from parental/ teacher figures during their early childhood years. Learning through play leverages children’s natural inclination to play into stepping stones of learning, creating various avenues where they can have fun, while exploring their talents and gifts, whether it is colors, building blocks, music, counting, sketching, molding, puzzles, etc.
Over the last 25 years, we at St. Mark’s Education group have been awakening young minds with our learning-through-play approach for early childhood geniuses. This focus and experience is foundational to the learning approaches of Vaekke EYFS.
As parents and early learning facilitators, if we can identify areas where our children are naturally inclined, and create conducive, nurturing environments for them, who knows what future geniuses families can produce!