~ early education care ~ where our play supports our learning

When Engaged – Learning Just Seems to Happen

So much of the learning that occurs here comes about naturally through play. I think that’s great and really the best way for children to truly learn what they need when they need it. That’s not to say I do not do direct teaching of concepts. That’s needed at times. It also doesn’t mean I do not set up opportunities to stretch areas of interest, set up problems to be solved, or flat out challenge the children to an activity.

I love sitting back and observing as the children here take a simple activity and stretch it themselves. Adding in a word or two supports their efforts and also lets them know I’m aware and supportive of what they are doing.

The morning of 7/14 found me organizing and sorting out items that I have not used in years, yet are taking up precious shelf space in the room, as the children arrived. They offered to help. I told them I wanted to be sure all the puzzle pieces were present. They offer to make the large floor puzzles up. I told them “to go for it.”

What happens next:

  • communication
  • team work
  • lots of practice around the ABC’s and numbers
  • words were read
  • ordinal practice with ABC’s and numbers through 20
  • self awareness
  • feeling of accomplishment
  • puzzleorganize

To actually see in action watch this video:

This video shows another way they naturally extended the learning. This puzzle was checked for all it’s pieces and they started to then place in order.

Then you get to see their creative side emerge while using the slip ‘n slide. Have you every somersaulted down one? Or maybe been a sliding train? If you don’t feel like getting wet then it’s digging a “super hole” or testing out your balance on the slack line.


Everything stopped instantly when Mr. Toad was spotted hiding on the climbing gym. Observe. Talk about. Question.

Then back to playing.

Author: countryfun

35+ yrs in the classroom ~ love teaching ~ PLAY! ~ technology in ECE ~ sharing books ~ STEAM starts in ECE ~ outdoors ~ being CREATIVE!!

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