Some parents of young children can be alarmed by the term “play-based learning” simply because of the word “play” in the name. The kids, even the littlest ones, should “play” at home. School is for learning, they say.
However, interactive and play-based learning fosters discussion and group work among students to improve classroom learning. It is far more analytical than conventional memorization techniques and is intended to foster imagination and creativity.
More than ever, teachers emphasize classroom discussions incorporating free-thinking and critical inquiry.
It’s high time that innovative teaching practices be implemented in today’s modern classrooms.
What Is Play-based Classroom Learning?
As an activity, play is meant to be done for its own sake, and it’s always meant to be fun. These experiences set the stage for a youngster to develop into an inquisitive and enthusiastic learner. Children benefit from play-based learning in many ways, including developing social skills, enthusiasm for learning, and improving numeracy and language. Taking charge, giving something your whole attention, and being genuinely interested in the world around you are all necessary skills for success.
Children’s brains are hardwired in a way that supports their development and learning—the motivation to play stems from an innate desire to explore the world.
Elements of Play-Based Learning
Teachers must take great care to foster an environment that improves classroom learning through play. The following components comprise play-based learning:
Self-Direction: The child is responsible for determining the nature and pace of their play. They should have the final say in any situation, even with adults present.
Unstructured Exploration: The child can discover independently and choose what to play with or learn about. There should be various options available, but it should be the child’s choice.
Fun: The child should like the game. It’s crucial for the child to like whatever they’re doing; therefore, adults shouldn’t push them.
Process-Oriented: There is no expected outcome or correct answer; the play itself matters.
Play With an Objective in Mind
One of the key ways to improve classroom learning is for teachers to have a predetermined “learning aim” for the play they allow their pupils to engage in. A teacher can keep this objective in mind as the child plays and use subtle prompts to help the child move in this direction.
Teachers shouldn’t always expect kids to deliver measurable results. Don’t tell kids how to mix colors to make a new color; instead, show them an example before letting them come up with their own.
Creating places or centers in the classroom with materials, activities, or items that have been selected to encourage meaningful play is one way to ensure that kids learn while they play.
A section containing seemingly unrelated items can be used in a play-based classroom to help pupils learn the concepts being taught directly by the teacher. For example, if the class is learning about rocks, leaves, and other natural materials, the teacher might put some leaves, stones, and sticks on the tray so that the kids can learn to identify, hold, and touch them. Kids can get some early math practice while having fun with the materials by counting pebbles or counting how many are left after sharing with a buddy.
To improve classroom learning, the best strategy involves incorporating essential characteristics of play—such as curiosity, discovery,