February 19, 2020

What does learning look like?

Contributed by Bridgett Wolff, Learning and Development Specialist

 

Take a moment to close your eyes and envision the ideal, perfect early childhood classroom.

 

Now open.

 

Did you envision something that looked like this?

 

 

Though it might not be the kind of learning that first comes to mind, research shows that children learn best through play.

 

Play is defined as any activity freely chosen, intrinsically motivated, and personally directed.  It has no particular goal other than itself.  Play is the lens through which children experience their world and the world of others.

 

 

There are countless benefits that come with play in early childhood: including both increased physical and cognitive skills. The skills that are developed during play in early childhood set the foundation for higher levels of learning later in life.

 

At Doodle Bugs!, we believe that play is the work of early childhood.  Therefore, the play-based activities found in our Bravo! Lesson Plans are designed with the belief that learning is happening at all times.  

 

 

That means that every time a child sticks their hand in a messy sensory bin, interacts with a teacher or peer, knocks over a tall block tower, or runs around with a friend outside- they are always learning.

 

 

The child who is simply playing in the sensory bin is exploring the properties of cause and effect, developing their fine motor skills by learning how to scoop and pour, developing logical thinking, and is engaging multiple senses at once.

 

 

Young children thrive when they explore these play-based activities and experiences, as they are at a stage of development where they are constantly making connections, exploring, and discovering the world around them.

 

Learning isn’t always quiet, organized, and clean.  Learning is curious, loud, exciting, and messy.

 

So next time you walk into a classroom and it looks like a whole lot of “just play”- take a closer look.  There is learning happening all around you.