Children have a natural desire to learn. Play allows children to follow their instincts.

We think of play as an expression of freedom, it is about what the child has chosen to do as opposed to what they may be obliged to do. When a child determines what they want to play they are fostering creativity and flexibility in thinking. They are not encumbered with the right or wrong way. – Fiona Ireland, Kindergarten Director

Play is a crucial part of children’s learning and development. It provides the ideal context for children to learn. Play-based learning is a key element of Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework. Play-based learning programs allow children to learn through inquiry, exploration and discovery. In play-based programs, children can become immersed in topics that interest them. Children are offered opportunities to initiate play and teachers guide and extend the play to facilitate learning.

Play based learning can take place through free play or guided play and can happen indoors or outside. In each case, the key is that children take the lead and are supported, but not directed, by their educators. Educators can support learning through play by observing children in play, asking questions and prompting children to expand their thinking and extend their abilities. Positive play experiences foster children’s desire to know and learn.

See Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework