If you’re reading this, you’ve likely visited one of our schools or at the very least are looking for the right fit for your child to continue their learning journey. At Creative World School, we dare to play! In fact, we play all day long! But don’t children need structured teacher-led lessons to learn what they need to know you may ask? The answer may surprise you…no, they don’t! Before the age of 5 (and even well into the school-age years), we are built to learn and develop through play. Now, not all play is the same, and some play may not appear to be teaching children, but when you understand what you’re looking for and take a step back you’ll soon realize that with a great group of teachers, every moment of play can also be a moment of learning and growth.
In Kristine Mraz, Alison Porcelli, and Cheryl Tyler’s book, Purposeful Play, the authors share that “something is play if you have chosen to do it, have the capacity to pretend and change as you go, and enjoy it for the most part.” So, what is purposeful play? One way to think about it it’s what happens when we support and engage with children so that all the wonderful learning that happens in our schools is a by-product of play. At Creative World Schools we use the 3 E’s (education, exploration, and enrichment) to help support and structure how teachers plan and interact with students to engage in a variety of playful moments. By putting out new items or materials (enriching the environment) we encourage children to explore and ask questions/try new things (education). Then, instead of jumping in with the answer or telling kids where to go to find out, our teachers engage with the students through the inquiry process to guide and support them in discovering the answers to the things that piqued their interest in the first place.
Children learn best when they are having fun, interested in what’s happening, and can make their own choices. Whether it’s taking the time to experiment with new materials, by rolling different items down ramps to see who “wins”, or thinking about what to plant in the school garden box and what it should look like and where it should go, or just reading a great book together and then reenacting or playing part of the story out, there is so much learning that happens through play!