Throughout the study of early childhood development, research has shown us the powerful tool play has relating to children’s language development.
Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) reminds educators that play provides opportunities for children to have hands on explorations, discoveries and the ability to create and imagine. Studies have shown that playing with peers and educators build on social skills, test out ideas and challenge children to think and build new understandings (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), 2009).
If we look into the learning taking place in the Galah room, at MyKindy Garden Suburbs, we can see some powerful play taking place. Through an interest in dinosaurs, we can see how play has brought in science, technology, engineering, mathematics as well as language and the creative Arts.
What began with the children initiating a game of collecting sticks in the yard, finding “Dinosaur Bones” has creating an explosion of learning.
We engaged learning experiences such as:
-creating drawings of dinosaurs
-researched on the IPad different dinosaurs
-explored and investigated real bones
-taping paper together to equal the real length of a 33 meter high dinosaur
-reading books on dinosaurs
All of these experiences have assisted in both oral and written linguistic development.
So how can this be carried into the home environment?
Listening and responding to your child is a great starting place. Engaging in play that is meaningful to your child, asking them questions and engaging in conversation continues and builds on their learning.
Play is so important for children and it’s an invaluable tool for adults to use to expand on the children’s knowledge and skills.