19 Things Parents Should Know About Learning Through Play

Did you know that children can LEARN through PLAY? It's true! Play is at the heart of everything. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are PLAY is key to life!


  1. Encouraging the child to use their own imagination is vital

  2. Children can take the lead while adults can extend the learning

  3. Allowing children to learn through play is not an excuse for not planning

  4. Adults don't need to decide on the outcome before the activity starts

  5. Even 5-10 minutes of play is essential to growth and learning

  6. Consistency and patience is key

  7. Allow children to explore without constantly giving them guidance

  8. Creativity can be messy

  9. Play develops relationships, self confidence, conflict resolution and personal growth

  10. Play allows children to learn through taking risks and making choices

  11. A child's imagination is sometimes out of our scope of imagination. Simply observing children play is a lesson for adults

  12. Even if what the child is doing looks boring to you, it doesn’t mean it’s boring to them

  13. Play is the foundation to children's academic potential

  14. Expensive toys are not always the answer...one box = a thousand uses

  15. Follow the child’s interest and everyone will be happier for it!

  16. Drop the stereotypical gender bias toward play. It's okay for boys to play with dolls and girls to use a hammer.

  17. Be as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible. Let children take risks. Jump, splash, get dirty, scrape knees etc.

  18. When a child makes a mess, they need to help clean up. The clean up is as much a part of the play as the play and learning.

  19. The focus on play should not stop at 5 years old, when children go to ‘formal school’. Encourage your older kids (even teenagers!) to PLAY!


True play is freely chosen by the child with no adult directions and no adult expectations for how the play progresses or results. Children are genius explorers and when given the time, materials and freedom will create and play together with joy!


So parents, stand back, stop controlling, leave predetermined thoughts or outcomes behind, observe and enjoy!


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