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Play based learning supports your child’s development

Last updated: January 22, 2024

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Learning through play

Children’s success as learners depends on developing strong foundations from infancy, and play based learning supports this. The type of play children engage in changes as they grow.

When educators use a play based learning approach, children enjoy showing their ability to explore, imagine, and make decisions.

Play-based learning supports your child’s physical development


Active play using muscles in activities like running or sporting games supports:

  • overall health, physical growth and wellbeing
  • skills for independence in self-help such as dressing or feeding.

Play-based learning supports your child’s social and emotional development


Dramatic imaginative play, dressing up and role play supports:

  • negotiation skills, self-confidence, resilience, and empathy
  • independence in self-regulation of emotions and behaviour

Play-based learning supports your child’s cognitive development


Thinking, remembering, learning and paying attention supports:

  • imagination, creativity and problem solving skills
  • literacy and numeracy skills

How your child's educators support play based learning


Your child's educators develop learning programs and activities for children under the national approved learning frameworks.

Your child's educators plan play-based learning experiences based on your child’s interests and developmental needs, then observe them to plan activities to strengthen skills.

Your child's educators set up age-appropriate games indoors and outdoors that can be played safely. Often they use multi-purpose resources for creative activities, such as building a bridge with blocks or turning a box into a car.

Your child's educators allow time for children’s own ideas and games to develop, and join play to model skills and positive behaviours.

How you can support play based learning

You can play with your child, and let their educator know about their interests and abilities. Sharing this information helps your child's educator plan their learning program and activities.

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