Why Play?!

“It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

Play provides opportunities for children to learn through their experiences as they explore, create and imagine. In settings such as our Wilderness Playgroup and Bold Park’s early years programs, children are immersed in social groups where they can communicate their ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings of the world around them. 

While Australia is mandated to The Early Years Learning Framework to ensure the delivery of quality play-based learning, research indicates that child-initiated and self-directed play has become almost non-existent in many early learning settings across the country. A greater focus on standardised testing and curriculum demands has seen the demise of play in the classrooms of even our youngest students. 

The Bold Park Community School Wildspaces provide a supportive environment where children can ask questions, investigate, hypothesise, test and engage in critical and creative thinking. Through play, they are given opportunities to develop positive dispositions towards learning which is fundamental as they begin their education journey. 

Our role as parents and educators is also paramount as we employ a range of strategies to help support learning through play. We are able to recognise spontaneous teachable moments that occur through modelling, questioning, listening and conversing. We can offer support to help our children recognise when play is unfair and scaffold a resolution to ensure the learning environment is fair and inclusive. 

Sarah Polson-Brown, Teacher, BPCS

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“The shrewd guess, the fertile hypothesis, the courageous leap to a tentative conclusion - these are the most valuable coins of the thinker at work. But in most schools guessing is heavily penalized and is associated somehow with laziness.”

Jerome Bruner

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