Category Archives: Play

Play in the Home: Why it’s essential for early childhood development

This article appeared in Every Child magazine Vol. 28, No.2, 2022  The home offers rich and authentic opportunities for play-based learning, Joanne Grimmond observes. Children’s formative experiences of play in the home lay the foundation for their later learning, and digital platforms, such as the new Play and Learn Together web-based resource, can be used to […]

Block play as an enduring, powerful toy  

Associate Professor Kym Simoncini shares research and findings ahead of her masterclass ‘STEM in the early years: We can all do STEM’ at the ECA National Conference from 5-8 October 2022.  If you’re interested in seeing Kym present as part of the conference program, you can purchase a virtual ticket.   The image was sourced from iStock. […]

Music education and play-based learning

Image provided by author, Amy Rothe. Australian early learning settings follow a play-based pedagogy, in line with the emphasis placed on play in the national frameworks. Music is not a core part of this pedagogy, perhaps because of the perception that music education is about rote instruction, practising scales and reading notation—compared to play-based learning, […]

Leading play-based pedagogies

In this article, Lennie Barblett, Sandra Cheeseman and Catharine Hydon emphasise children’s right to learn through play no matter the age. Additionally, they suggest that all educators lead and be articulate in their advocacy of play-based pedagogies for children’s learning, development and wellbeing. At the 2021 Early Childhood Australia National Conference, we spoke about leading […]

Using evidence to improve children’s outcomes

Written by Zid Mancenido, Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation and Amie Fabry, Senior Researcher at the Australian Education Research Organisation. Hensman Street Elementary in Perth is looking into research on play and inquiry. ‘Our observations, videos, photographs and records tell us how our children are engaging in learning and interacting with peers, the environment and our […]

Enabling environments and children’s agency: Connecting the pieces

The Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009, p. 45) defines agency as being able to make choices and decisions, to influence events and to have an impact on one’s world. Children’s agency is supported through intentional teaching, involvement in decision making and reciprocal, attuned responsive interactions. (ACECQA, 2018) all of which constitute the environments that […]

Finding the balance: Play-based learning and intentional teaching

A play-framework for play-based learning and intentional teaching in early childhood education Balancing open-ended play and intentional teaching in early childhood education can be difficult. Open-ended play can appear to be at odds with intentional teaching. Open-ended play provides children with important opportunities for exploring materials and experimenting with ideas. Intentional teaching considers the role […]

The values we lay in outdoor play

‘The outdoor environment is suited to meeting children’s needs for all types of play, and builds on their firsthand experiences.’ Claire Warden shares the value of indoor and outdoor play through 10 visions and values collated from different organisations who are dedicated to connecting children with nature. The vision for all young children is that: […]

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