Tag Archives: Ten Play-Based Learning Ideas

Ten Play-Based Learning Ideas

Our list of play ideas for preschoolers will empower children to create, explore, imagine, discover, problem solve and achieve success. Open-ended materials that can be used in a hundred different ways are the absolute best choice for children.  The opportunities for creative exploration are boundless and children will use materials in a way we adults would never expect.

 

IMG_8443 Mortar and Pestle – Mortar and pestle with herbs, flowers, small bowls and cups, water. Children can make potions and perfumes, and experiment with colour, quantity and smell.
IMG_9076 Mini Sand Pit – Trays with a layer of sand on the bottom with sticks and twigs for drawing, writing, doodling, exploring and creating. Children are often mesmerized by this experience. You can also add small rocks or rakes to further develop this play experience.
DSCF8856 Pebble Play – Pebbles of different colours, different shapes, different sizes for transient art work. Transient art is art that is created then dismantled. It can be photographed but it isn’t permanent.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Mud Kitchen – A mud kitchen with sticks, leaves, mud, rucks, water, bowls, trays and anything else you can access.  Mud and water are the key ingredients, and children love exploring the texture of mud in their imaginary kitchens.
IMG_8815 Boxes – Cardboard boxes, scissors, masking tape, sticky tape, cellophane, paper, pens, string.  The best toy ever is a cardboard box.
Dress Ups Dress Ups – Offcuts of fabric, old clothes, shoes, bags, purses for children to dress up and role play.  There’s nothing better than being a mummy or being a daddy or even a dinosaur, a fireman or a character from Frozen.  Children’s imaginations will take the lead.
DSCN8377 Dancing and Singing – Music and dance by making their own instruments and add scarves or other items. Try different styles of music including classical, jazz, blues, tribal drums, top 40, but don’t forget the old nursery rhymes that are wonderful for developing early reading skills with their rhythm and rhyme.
Water Water Play – Water, containers, bowls, cups, spoons, buckets, watering cans, funnels, tubing, pump, string, tape. Children are naturally attracted to water and learn many mathematical and scientific skills during water play while they are pouring, measuring, floating, sinking, filling, and emptying.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Clay or Dough – Playdough or clay – either with tools or without tools. Can add sticks, rocks, leaves etc. Not only great for a creative medium, but also for strengthening all the hand and arm muscles children will need as they get older. It is great to do these activities both standing and sitting, as they develop different muscles in each position.

 

block-play-1-1436165-639x958 Blocks – The old classic, blocks the plain wooden ones. with no required outcome.  Lego, duplo and mobilo are fine so long as they are used in an open-ended fashion where there is no requirement to ‘create what’s on the box’.

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