Teaching, learning and playing

Children love to jump, play and run. Playing amongst trees, plants, sand, water outdoors is a rich means of promoting inquiry and curiosity and imagination. Not to mention, it is also a great source of enjoyment!

We take for granted, perhaps, that children play, however, research reported through Early Childhood publications urges educators and parents to fully appreciate the power of play in learning.

An indepth look into why children play, and the importance of play is fascinating.

Children play because they:

  • enjoy the experience and draw deep emotional satisfaction and contentment from them.
  • love the feeling of linking information from prior experiences and gaining further understandings whilst playing.
  • love developing and mastering/practising new skills.
  • use play to assist them to make sense of things.
  • find that, through play, they can make/maintain friendships.
  • can exercise a certain amount of freedom and control through play, as distinct from the times in which adults are directly demanding certain things to be done or the way in which to do them.

Play is essential in building and fostering important skills and charcteristics such as confidence, competence and independence.

Well set-up, well designed and managed outdoor play spaces offer maximum opportunities for investigation, exploration, problem solving, imagining, creating and enjoying. The Reggio Emilia approach emphasises the necessity of children to explore and learn both indoors and outdoors. Children love and benefit from the opportunity to explore and play with natural materials. The Reggio Emilia approach highly values the elements of light, transparency and exposure to natural materials.

In the Campbell House playground, our young students are provided various spaces which invite children to run, jump, move and play, or to sit and gather to chat and imagine with their peers. Problem solving and meeting challenges are major aspects of the outdoor play opportunities in Campbell House.

Mrs Alana Moor, Head of ELC and Barbreck
Blue Gum Room

The children in Blue Gum Room have demonstrated a collective interest in books throughout this year. One of the children’s favourite storybooks is Wacky Wednesday by Dr Seuss. This story has been read over and over as the children’s enthusiasm is sparked by the wacky things occurring within the book. The children’s excitement and enthusiasm never tires, no matter how many times we have read this story. They particularly enjoy having to visually scan the pictures to identify the various wacky things on each page of the book. The term ‘Wacky Wednesday’ has also become a regular feature of the children’s conversations as they wish each other a ‘Wacky Wednesday’ when they leave the ELC each Tuesday.

As a celebration of this book and the children’s love of literature, the children were invited to ‘Wacky Wednesday on a Thursday’ where they came to the ELC dressed with a touch of ‘wacky’. Upon arrival in our classroom, there were many wacky things that the children had to spot. A shoe on the ceiling, a hat hanging from the roof, upside down chairs, pencils with the paint…just to mention a few!

It was a wonderful day celebrating all things wacky!

Ms Sarah Bethune, Blue Gum Room Teacher and ELC Coordinator
Mrs Alana Moor, Head of ELC and Barbreck