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Play Based Learning

Four Categories of Play. The four categories of young children's play are:  

  1. Functional Play - CLICK HERE for Sand Play. 
  2. Constructive Play - CLICK HERE for Build a Fort. 
  3. Dramatic Play - CLICK HERE for Pretend Grocery Store. 
  4. Games with Rules Play - CLICK HERE for Frozen Fish. 

Five Types of Play Experiences. The continuum of play experiences move between child-directed and educator directed. The five types of play experiences are: 

  1. Free Play - CLICK HERE for Outdoor Play. 
  2. Inquiry Play - CLICK HERE for Loose Parts. 
  3. Collaborative Play - CLICK HERE for Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. 
  4. Playful Learning Play - CLICK HERE for Baking Together. 
  5. Learning Games Play - CLICK HERE for Simon Says. 

The term "value of play" is a refined concept where learning encompasses the four Categories of Play and the five Types of Play Experiences. It is the idea that play based learning is organic, unique and interconnected with materials, others and the environment. CLICK HERE for more information. 


The following three examples connect the theories above to what families already do at home everyday. 


  1. CLICK HERE for Yoga. 
  2. CLICK HERE for Pretend/Real Cooking. 
  3. CLICK HERE for Learning through the Five Senses. 

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