Recently the concept of Play-Based Learning has been popular among New Zealand families and
Many sources are providing a wealth of ideas on Play-Based Learning and how to approach little learners and help them develop and learn. Play-Based Learning helps in developing social skills, relationships, communication skills, motor and fine-motor skills and problem-solving skills.
We all know the back in the day’s “chalk and talk” way of teaching where kids are taught in the way that
suits the teacher... Play-Based Learning is all about teaching kids in the way they accept and understand
better - through play.
It is astounding how much kids can learn through play. It helps them explore and discover, understand
boundaries and take risks. A play isn't something they do to pass the time, it gives them so much more
like learning how to solve problems and deal with various situations. Learning literacy and numeracy can
also be done through play, and kids love it.
Anything can be introduced through play-based learning where kids are engaged and can learn easily. It
is kids’ constant interest in the world and enjoyment of discovering that motivates them to learn more.
Play-based learning is very hands-on as well, as children love feeling the sense of independence.
Modern day families and educators have all moved towards this way of supporting kids’ learning. The
key is to know and understand what the child’s interests are to then offer learning activities around
what the child enjoys, as it’ll ensure them staying interested and engaged for longer.
There are also two types of Play-Based learning - where it is a free play where kids explore what they
want independently and a guided play where an adult guides the kids during the play.
Below are some fun Play-Based Learning ideas suggested by the Auckland Kindergarten Association.
● Create paper plate faces: need paper plates, scissors and pens. Create a funny face!
● String painting: paper, string and paints. Dip the string into paints and ‘paint’ your masterpiece.
● Playdough: place playdough, objects (like figurines) and create a fun mini city.
● Baking soda volcano: this is for little experimenters! All you need is baking soda, vinegar and a
container to create this volcano in.
● Toilet paper roll crafts: grab a few toilet paper rolls and use glue or cellar tape to attach them
together creating fun shapes and constructions, or simply create a binocular with 2 rolls. Draw
or paint on them a fun design.
● Flowers: collect flowers from outside and examine them together. Discuss their colours, shapes
and smells and then create a card with them. Use a glue or cellar tape to attach them to a paper.