What Is Play-based Learning In Child Development?

In the realm of child development, the power of play-based learning cannot be understated. Play is not just a form of entertainment; it serves as a fundamental cornerstone for a child’s growth and development. Play-based learning has gained immense recognition for its ability to foster holistic development. This article delves into the concept of play-based learning, its significance in child development and the activities employed in early years schools. First of all, what is play-based learning?

What is Play-based learning?

Play-based learning in education is an approach that leverages the natural curiosity and creativity of children to facilitate learning. It involves interactive activities, exploration, and hands-on experiences that are enjoyable and meaningful to the child. Instead of relying solely on structured lessons and academic content, play-based learning encourages children to learn through discovery, experimentation, and problem-solving. This approach recognizes children as active participants in their own learning journey and emphasizes the development of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills in a holistic manner.

Why is Play-based learning important?

Enhance creativity and imagination

Play-based learning enhances children’s creativity and imagination by offering unstructured environments where they can explore, experiment, create and think outside of the box. Through activities like imaginative role-playing and open-ended building, children develop the ability to think creatively, invent unique solutions, and weave their own stories. The absence of strict rules fosters a sense of freedom, empowering them to envision and pursue novel ideas without fear of criticism. This nurtures a vibrant imagination with applications extending to various areas of their development.
Enhance creativity and imagination

Develop cognitive mind for children

Play-based learning cultivates cognitive development in children by engaging them in activities that stimulate critical thinking, problem-solving, and memory skills. Through games, puzzles, and hands-on exploration, children are prompted to analyze patterns, make decisions, and connect concepts. The open-ended nature of play encourages them to experiment with different approaches, enhancing their ability to reason and adapt. As they navigate challenges and discover solutions, their cognitive capacities expand, fostering a strong foundation for future academic and lifelong learning.

Encourage your child’s confidence

Play-based learning nurtures children’s confidence through enjoyable activities that promote competence and autonomy. By making choices, solving problems, and collaborating with peers, they build a sense of accomplishment and social ease, fostering a strong foundation for self-confidence.

Improve communication skills

Play-based learning enhances children’s verbal and nonverbal communication skills by encouraging interactions with peers during imaginative play and collaborative activities. Through storytelling, role-playing, and group projects, children develop vocabulary, express ideas, and learn to listen actively, while engaging with diverse scenarios promotes adaptability in communication styles.

Develop gross motor skills

Play-based learning supports the development of children’s gross motor skills by incorporating physical activities into playtime. Outdoor games and movement-based play help improve coordination, balance, and strength. Engaging in group activities and sports fosters teamwork and spatial awareness, enhancing motor skills. As children explore their environment and navigate obstacles, they naturally refine their motor abilities, leading to better physical control and confidence in their movements.


Activities of play-based learning in Early Years School

Early years schools are particularly adept at implementing play-based learning due to its alignment with the developmental needs of young children. Some common activities include:

Pretend or Imaginative Play

Pretend or imaginative play involves children taking on different roles and enacting scenarios. Whether they’re playing house, pretending to be superheroes, or running a pretend store, this activity encourages creativity, language development, and social understanding. As children create their own narratives and engage with peers, they enhance their communication skills, empathy, and problem-solving abilities.

Building and Construction Play

Activities involving building blocks and other construction materials offer opportunities for children to explore spatial relationships, practice fine motor skills, and experiment with design. Through constructing structures and exploring architectural concepts, children develop problem-solving skills, learn about balance and stability, and boost their spatial intelligence.
Building and Construction Play

Sensorial Play

Sensorial play engages the senses through activities like finger painting, playdough manipulation, or water play. By exploring different textures, colors, and materials, children refine their sensory perceptions, stimulate creativity, and enhance cognitive development. These activities provide a tactile and multisensory way for children to learn and express themselves

Outdoor Play

Engaging with the outdoors through activities like organized games and playground exploration promotes physical development, gross motor skills, and an appreciation for the natural world. Outdoor play also encourages social interaction, teamwork, and problem-solving as children navigate their surroundings and engage in collaborative games.


Play-based learning at La Petite Ecole Ho-Chi-Minh, French International School

In conclusion, play-based learning is a dynamic approach that fosters holistic child development through engaging, interactive, and enjoyable activities. Its significance lies in promoting creativity, social skills, emotional intelligence, and a lifelong love for learning.

La Petite Ecole Ho Chi Minh, French International school, effectively integrates play-based learning throughout its curriculum, creating an environment where children thrive. At La Petite Ecole, everything has been thought out in terms of the arrangement of the classrooms to encourage play-based learning at all times: each Early Years classroom is spacious, measuring over 60 square metres, which means that there are plenty of play areas. Indeed, following the French National Curriculum, the teachers at La Petite Ecole give all the children enough time to develop their play activities. They observe them in their free play in order to get to know them better. They also offer structured games explicitly designed to teach specific skills.

By prioritizing compassionate and individualized development, multilingual learning through play, child-centered & spacious classrooms, and a wide range of facilities and resources, La Petite Ecole nurtures children’s physical, cognitive, and social growth. Emphasizing values and well-being, La Petite Ecole’s approach encourages active learning through activities that promote exploration, creativity, and interaction. This holistic approach ensures that children not only learn but also develop a lifelong love for learning through the power of play-based learning.

Contact La Petite Ecole for detailed consultation!

School address: 172-180 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City.