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Learning through Play

Playtime is precious, it builds the brains pathway for thinking, creativity, flexibility, empathy and helps children to develop many other lifelong skills, including gross and fine motor, language and communication, thinking, problem-solving and social skills. Play can also support the specific difficulties your child might have.  Children generally learn and develop a lot through play.

Play should be freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated.  It’s really important to avoid losing play value in favor of accessibility. Simply being able to do something isn’t what makes it enjoyable. While planning for play- time, just remember to focus on what your child can do, rather than what they can’t. A child with special needs might need an adult support, but they also need to take charge and make choices.

Children who are fond of playing use their knowledge, skills and understanding and apply it in different ways and different contexts. Play captures many of the features that we know from research lead to deeper learning, and thus provides an optimal environment to develop the skills and knowledge that children need to thrive and succeed as adults. Intrinsic motivation towards play makes a fertile ground for learning and developing new skills. Play can be a highly social activity, allowing opportunities to learn from and about others. Thus, play can provide many opportunities for learning.

The most important characteristic of other learning methods is the element of pleasure and suspense.  The level of play increases when adults play, and the variety of games played by children increases when adults join them. Adult joining play is not control, because control is when they enforce the rules of play on children and this type does not lead to the development of knowledge.

Play includes sensory play, projective play and role play.

The Therapeutic Benefits of Play help:

  • Overcome behavioral, emotional and social issues

  • Encourage communication

  • Develop an understanding of oneself and the social world

  • Helping toward better social integration, growth and Development.


Key Principles of play:

  • Believe that every child has the ability to learn, develop and reach their full potential, they just need to be appropriately facilitated.

  • Hold each child with positive regard and focus on the emotional well-being.

  • Accept the child for who they are and following their lead and interests through play (the child’s natural language) – allowing them the freedom to express and explore (learn and develop).