What is play based learning?

A play-based setting uses the child’s interests to enhance their provision. The setting builds on a child’s instinct to play through using play as a context for learning. In play based learning environments children can explore, experiment, discover and solve problems in imaginative ways that suits them and their individual interests.

A play-based approach will involve the child initiating play as well as the nursery practitioner putting ideas into the provision to further their learning. The practitioner is there to encourage the child’s learning and development through extending the learning in each activity.

In play based settings there is focus on teaching and learning. The play the children are involved in can be  free play or guided play, however when a practitioner is involved, they are there to support/further the play already taking place, rather than changing the play completely. This ensures a much freer flow feel and enables the children to be fully in control of their learning and development basing this around their own interests at the time.

Here is an excellent blog post that shows examples of play based learning and how it works!