What Is Creative Play?Tuesday, 17th July 2018 11:58 am
Creative play is fundamentally important to our children’s physical, social, cognitive and emotional development. It is how children learn to perceive the world and understand their place in it. The foundations of learning are set enabling children to become architects of knowledge. Play is such a simple word it does not justify the importance of the activity on life itself.
Being a toddler is exciting because the world is new and every day is an opportunity for discovery. Young children have so many questions and constantly seek answers. They learn about life through observation and practice. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) utilises the benefits of creative play by including it in the curriculum.
School playground equipment reflects the importance of play and provides many different experiences for children. Visit any nursery or early years provider and observe the presence of role play areas, sand & water play and mud kitchens. Moving classrooms outdoors is a popular trend amongst educators because children learn so much more in the fresh air.
What Is Creative Play?
Creative play involves self-expression and the mastery of physical, social and cognitive skills. It is all about training the brain and body to function in the real world. Play helps to develop language and communication skills which enable children to learn academically as they go through the education system. Surprisingly the root of learning is not in studying books or being told how your body works…it is all about doing.
Cognitive skills are the cornerstone of human development because they enable us to make decisions, solve problems, sequence events, follow instructions and a hundred other things. A good analogy is of a conductor of an orchestra ensuring all of the instruments play at the right time and volume. The absence of the conductor causes chaos, confusion and terrible music. Our brains work exactly like that. Children learn how to draw a circle by drawing a circle or how to make a sandcastle by making a sandcastle. Creative play is not an abstract activity it is very much in the here and now.
The basis of reading is being able to recognise sounds and retrieve familiar words from everyday life. A book is the final part of the reading process. Listening and speaking help children to be able to communicate their ideas. Children learn more words and speak clearer if they have opportunities to talk. Role play gives children the opportunity to practise real-life situations and copy the adults around them.
Art and crafts provide children with the opportunity to express themselves creatively and talk about the source of their ideas. Imagination is the essential ingredient to allow learning to take place and this is the awesome part.
Educational Playground Equipment
Schools are completely on the pulse concerning creative play equipment. There is a huge selection of exciting pieces of equipment that enable creative play. Role play equipment, sand & water play, musical play equipment, environmental play, mud kitchens and storytelling chairs all contribute to creative play.
Teachers are able to incorporate different learning experiences using the playground equipment. Playtime provides opportunities to reinforce learning through free play. Outdoor classrooms give children space and freedom to spread their learning wings preparing them for flight in the future.