Principle 5

Principle 5

Play is a means to learning that capitalizes on children's natural curiosity and exuberance.

What the Experts say

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  • Children make sense of the world through play. As children investigate and experiment with materials and interact with one another through play they establish skills in problem-solving, social competence, self-regulation, and communication.
  • “Imitating” and “exploring” during the infant and toddler years evolves into “pretend” play. In pretend play, children use language and thinking skills. They learn to plan, negotiate, resolve conflicts, regulate emotions and behaviour, initiate friendships, and understand the perspective of others.
  • Through these experiences, adults can build children's emerging literacy, numeracy, and scientific reasoning skills.
  • Children's learning builds on their existing understanding of ideas and concepts. Their natural curiosity inspires them to solve problems and overcome challenges.

Principles Into Practice

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These videos provide numerous examples of how children learn through play and exploration. Reflecting on the videos, consider the following questions:

  • What skills do you observe the children demonstrating?
  • What questions are they exploring through their play?
  • How are their actions and/or words impacted by others?
  • What could you do to extend the children’s learning represented in the videos?

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