Fostering children’s learning in our play community is one of our key purposes in our planning and programming for our resources, classes and services we offer at P.L.A.Y. with a Purpose. There is intentional learning behind all our experiences and thoughtful selection of products with children being at the heart of this focus on learning.
What appeals to children? How do they learn? Why is early learning important?
Every child is an individual and unique in what interests them and engages them to explore and learn. Play is often the tool that children use to learn. As babies they will pick an item up, move it from hand to hand and back again several times, exploring how to make this happen is fascinating to them. A fabulous experiment! In our GroovaRoo Dance classes babies learn through the heart to heart connections with their parents and caregivers as they dance together to music in the carrier close to their heart. The focus on breathing and sounds we make as we breathe out to start, in between dances and in closing supports babies to make the connection to breathing out and the sounds that happen as we do. Some relaxation sounds.
As babies grow into toddlers, they engage willingly in using what is known as cause and effect toys or learning. A shape sorter or posting an item in a hole experience is amazing. They learn so much through repetition and will often do the same routine over and over again, or request more, again, again when playing with you. Playing with these types of toys and adding in talking and describing to them what is happening supports their language development.
Music Miracles ã encourages babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and kindy children together with their parents and caregivers to learn through singing nursery rhymes, action songs using instruments, puppets, ribbons and more. Gathering together in a circle to learn through play and share the beauty of music and connection with you and your little one. A wonderful time to relax and be together.
Fostering primary school children’s learning through our Yoga Heroz ã classes where we use yoga poses, mindfulness, games and meditation to support children’s well-being and enhance their learning of how they feel, what they can do to identify what they need and healthy ways to regulate their emotions. We delight in our making yoga accessible to all young Yoga Heroz and look forward to them taking their practice into their home and making it a part of their day to support them learning and being grounded and centred for their own well-being.
Some of the ways to foster children’s learning that you can do at home include:
- Plan some time (15 minutes) to play one on one with your child without screens in your day
- Read or tell a story daily
- Have a sing along in the car or at home together
- Cuddle and snuggle together talking quietly about your day. Perhaps ask them what was the best thing about today?
- Do some jobs together…eg. Taking out the rubbish, recycling, compost. Putting the washing on.
- Engage in a mindful quiet time colouring in or drawing together with some meditational type music or sounds in the background
- Find some meditations that will suit your little ones and you to do together when you can
- Have a disco dance to your favourite songs on a Friday or Saturday evening include some of your children’s favourite songs on the playlist
The benefits of doing some or all of these experiences with your children in their early years are varied and wide and these little moments build their brains and the foundations of their learning, skills and capacity for deepening their knowledge and love for you and others. Molly’s Ted talk explains it beautifully, you can find it here. Play, connect and learn with your child as #EarlyLearningMatters .