Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-01

Unlocking Your Child's Potential: The Transformative Power of Learning Through Play

Reggio Emilia Approach
Last updated on 19 Dec 2023

Unlocking Your Child's Potential: The Transformative Power of Learning Through Play

Reggio Emilia Approach
Last updated on 19 Dec 2023

Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-01

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about the Reggio Emilia approach is that it falls under the umbrella of play-based learning. This theory – which should be treated thus, and not as a prescriptive framework – states that children learn through play. 

In other words, in Reggio Emilia-inspired schools, play is seen as the chief way through which little ones explore the environment and discover it. It’s also one of the key ways children acquire critical skills and knowledge.

Play even fuels children’s curiosity, encourages their creativity, and inspires a lifelong love of learning. Taking all of these things together shows you why it’s one of the essential activities in any Reggio Emilia-inspired programme.

If you want to learn more about why play is so important in the Reggio Emilia approach, let’s break all of these points down below.

Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-02

Play is how children develop essential skills

The fun, stress-free aspect of Reggio Emilia play is why it’s so useful when it comes to children’s development of core skills. 

The fact that this is the time for entertainment frees children from the worry about getting things wrong. As a result, they feel like they’re at more liberty to experiment and this is how they pick up myriad new skills. 

Play is essentially a safe space for trying new things. We all know that new skills are rarely perfected the first time they’re tested, which is why the pressure-free environment of play is ideal for encouraging children to build new competencies.

Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-02
Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-03

Play is a powerful tool for learning

Children tend to be “hands-on” learners. This means that a lot of their knowledge is acquired through interaction with others as well as the world around them. 

A lot of these interactions are often made in the context of play, as it happens. You can see this yourself in your child’s daily play if you pay attention. 

For instance, has your child even played with geometric blocks? It’s how they first learn about things like shapes and three-dimensionality. It’s even how they learn basic geometry like two squares forming a rectangle.

Play interactions make concepts both tangible and easier to understand for little ones. It turns the abstract into something real and easier to grasp. 

So, when children play, they’re often applying abstract concepts to practical contexts, which not only helps them comprehend the concepts but also shows them the relevance of their learning to the real world. It adds meaning to what they’re learning!

Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-04

Play encourages imaginative thinking and creativity

Play boosts children’s development by giving them a space to explore their imagination. Play spaces support the expression of curiosity and creativity, both of which are important resources that children will need even when they’re older.

In play, children feel free to take on problems using trial and error, using their imagination to come up with new, not-as-obvious solutions to the challenges they face.

This lays the foundations for out-of-the-box thinking and the capacity to exercise lateral thinking. It can also become the seed for things like artistic expression and innovation.

Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-04
Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-05

Play helps build relationships

Play is also critical in the development of many social and emotional skills. While Reggio Emilia play can be solitary, it’s often done with others, which supports social skill learning through play. 

Through play interactions, children are introduced to and learn to build connections with others. They discover social abilities like sharing, negotiation, self-advocacy, and even conflict resolution.

They also discover how best to communicate with others, whether through self-expression or listening. They’re introduced to other points of view, leadership, collaboration, and more.

Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-06

Play cultivates positive attitudes towards learning

We said it before, but essentially, play is fun. It’s time children adore simply because it lets them enjoy themselves without worrying too much about requirements or expectations. 

The fact that it’s inherently enjoyable means that things associated with it tend to be seen as good things. And because play is actually time for learning, that’s all the too good – it fosters a positive attitude towards learning for the children.

Framing learning as a positive thing early on can only benefit children over the years. Among other things, it can motivate them to be more invested in discoveries and the growth of understanding.

Lily Valley_Blog_Dec 2-06

Unlock your child’s potential with play through Lily Valley

All of this should begin to demonstrate why learning through play is a great way to support your child’s development. We certainly use it to that effect when dealing with our children at Lily Valley Preschool. 

At Lily Valley, play is an essential strategy for holistic learning. Play is integrated into our schedules for this reason.

If you want to see how your child would experience a Reggio Emilia-inspired education that uses play as a key tool, reach out to us! We can answer all of your queries and even give you a tour of our facilities, which reflect the importance of play in our approach and programmes. 

Register your interest for a school tour with us today to learn how to unlock your child’s potential!