What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of learning (from birth to 8)? If someone were to ask me this question a few years ago, two of the words that I'd share would be structure and teacher-led. At one point, I believed that students only thrived academically when they were spending a large percentage of a lesson receiving direct instruction from a teacher, with smaller amounts of time connecting with fellow classmates before taking a brief assessment. The teacher would then collect and analyze the assessment to address misconceptions in subsequent lessons (I'm not throwing THIS part out---it's very important).
On the contrary, recent research and teacher experiences have suggested that children can learn a plethora of knowledge through play. Learning through play is the educational practice wherein students learn and make sense of the world around them by engaging in playful yet impactful experiences. Learning through play helps children develop a sense of self as they learn about themselves in relation to others. In addition, this approach to learning bridges the gap between play and emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development. Check out 5 ideas for learning through play, as well as the different components of child development that these activities positively impact. Want more info? Click the links below!
Learning Through Play Research: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/innovation-application/innovation-in-action/learning-through-play/
Learning Through Play Ideas: https://www.encourageplay.com/teach-through-play
Wheel of Names: https://wheelofnames.com/