January 17, 2018


What is Play-Based Learning?

Play-based learning is defined simply as learning that is done in the context of play. Children of all ages learn best when the activity is fun and exciting. Very young children are easily taught concepts such as math, science and literacy through a variety of activities including circle time, dramatic play, creative expression, manipulatives (i.e. blocks, Lego’s, play dough), and the day-to-day explorations of the world around them. Older children are able to expand upon the knowledge they receive during the school day by applying it to more creative and independently driven projects. Because play is the natural activity children engage in, it is our responsibility to make it as enriching and exciting as possible!

We aspire to provide a program rooted in best practices, backed by research, and measured by our
achievement of DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practice) guidelines.

  • Staff /parents organize indoor and outdoor environments to encourage children to learn through play.
  • We meet the age appropriate and individual needs of the whole child by providing a hands-on environment that enhances cognitive, language, physical, and socio-emotional development.
  • Children experience learning as a discovery process not as the completion of a product.
  • Children in our programs experience active transitions, exploration, and routines that reflect the scope of our hands-on, play-based early childhood curriculum.

How are staff/parents ensuring that children are engaged in play-based learning?

  • Staff/parents are asking children open ended questions such as:
    • What do you think? How does that feel, smell, taste? What do you think will happen if…?
  • Staff/parents are encouraging children to focus and discover the process not the end product.
    • Instead of making a model or sample artwork for the children to copy, staff/parents explain the activity to the children and then let them explore with the materials.
  • Staff/parents are engaged with children in meaningful dialogues about the activity or project they are working on. Staff/parents are constantly interacting with the children.
  • Staff/parents create a purpose or objective for every activity that is presented to children.
  • Staff/parents allow the children to choose the activity or area of study and then follow-up on their