What is Play Based Learning?

When we talk about ‘Play-Based Learning’ in Kindergarten, we provide opportunities for children to use their natural curiosity and discovery, through hands-on exploration and to promote multiple areas of children’s development and learning . It is essentially ‘to learn while at play’.

The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) guide the practice of Early Childhood Educators.

Here is how we provide ‘Play Based Learning’ with our experiences at Oak Park Kindergarten.


Construction: Large Blocks, Lego, Bamboo, Mobilo, Cellophane Blocks, Magnetic Blocks, Duplo, Tap Tap, Train Sets, Cogs and Wheels, Little Engineers.
By participating in construction activities, children:
EYLF: 3 Wellbeing: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
Demonstrate trust and confidence, make choices, accept challenges, take considered risks, manage change and cope with frustrations and the unexpected, combine gross and fine motor movement, manipulate equipment and manage tools with increasing competence and skill, care and safety for themselves and others
EYLF : 4. LEARNING : Children are confident and involved learners.
Manipulate resources to investigate, take apart, assemble, invent and construct, apply a wide variety of thinking strategies to engage with situations and solve problems, and adapt these strategies to new situations.
EYLF : 5. COMMUNICATION : Children are effective communicators
interact with others to explore ideas and concepts, clarify and challenge thinking, negotiate and share new understandings.

Eid Celebrations

Culture: Aboriginal Cultural Experiences, Birthdays, Chinese New Year, Holi, Eid, Easter, Father’s Day, Footy Day, Diwali, Chinese Moon Festival, Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day and welcome other cultural days/activities of our Kinder Community.
By children learning about different cultures;
EYLF : 2. COMMUNITY : Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Broaden their understanding of the world in which they live, explore the diversity of culture, heritage, background and tradition and that diversity presents opportunities for choices and new understandings.

Dance, Music & Movement:
Physical Domain: Fine and Gross Motor Skills, Co-ordination, Balance
Social/Emotional Domain: Turn Taking, Sharing, Social Interactions, Know and express feelings relates to self-concept and self-esteem.

By children participating in these activities;
EYLF : 1. IDENTITY : Children have a strong sense of identity
Initiate and join in play, are open to new challenges and make new discoveries
EYLF : 3.WELLBEING : Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Seek out and accept new challenges, make new discoveries, and celebrate their own efforts and achievements and those of others, combine gross and fine motor movement and balance to achieve increasingly complex patterns of activity, including dance, creative movement and drama, respond through movement to traditional and contemporary music, dance and storytelling of their own and other’s cultures.

Digging Patch:
Physical Domain: Fine and Gross Motor Skills, Co-ordination, Balance
EYLF : 4. LEARNING : Children are confident and involved learners
Use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas. follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration, initiate and contribute to play experiences emerging from their own ideas.
EYLF: 5. COMMUNICATION : Children are effective communicators
engage in enjoyable reciprocal interactions using verbal and non-verbal language, exchange ideas, feelings and understandings using language and representations in play, demonstrate an increasing understanding of measurement and number using vocabulary to describe size, length, volume, capacity, and names of numbers.

Group Time: When we participate in discussions together;
EYLF : 1. IDENTITY : Children have a strong sense of identity
Show interest in other children and being part of a group, express a wide range of emotions, thought and views constructively, display awareness of and respect for others’ perspectives
EYLF : 2. COMMUNITY : Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Broaden their understanding of the world in which they live, express an opinion in matters that affect them, listen to others’ ideas and respect different ways of being and doing.
EYLF: 5. COMMUNICATION : Children are effective communicators
Convey and construct messages with purpose and confidence, building on literacies of home and /or family and the broader community, show increasing knowledge, understanding and skill in conveying meaning.

Incursions: (Not all these Incursions happened in the one year) Bunnings, Carp Productions, Dental Health Incursion, Didgeridoo Australia (Aboriginal Culture), Drama Toolbox, Essendon Football Carnival, First Aid with St John’s, Glenroy Library (Book of the Year), Green Collect (Recycle, Reuse and Re-purpose), Henny Penny Chick Hatching, Kelly Sports, Learning Chinese, Mickleham Dental Clinic, Museum Victoria (Dinosaurs), Reptile Encounters, Rockpool Discovery, Thingle Toodle (Road Safety), Wild Action.
When children participate in Incursions;
EYLF : 2. COMMUNITY : Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Broaden their understanding of the world in which they live, explore the diversity of culture, heritage, background and tradition and that diversity presents opportunities for choices and new understandings.

Imaginative/Dramatic Play Area: Home Corner, Dance Studio, Supermarket, Mechanics Workshop, Camp Site, Hospital, Babies Ara, Hair Dressers, Construction Zone, Fire Department, School, Pet Shop, Woodworking Area, Dinosaur Land, Ice Cream Parlour, Pizza Shop & Café, Vet, Post Office, Recycling Centre, Outer Space.
When children role play in the imaginative play area;
EYLF : 1. IDENTITY : Children have a strong sense of identity
Openly express their feelings and ideas in their interactions with others, explore aspects of identity through role-play, explore different identities and points of view in dramatic play, engage in and contribute to shared play experiences
EYLF : 2. COMMUNITY : Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Explore the diversity of culture, heritage, background and tradition and that diversity presents opportunities for choices and new understandings.
EYLF: 5. COMMUNICATION : Children are effective communicators
convey and construct messages with purpose and confidence, building on literacies of home and /or family and the broader community.

Literacy & Numeracy: Before your child can learn to read or write, they need to develop the building blocks for literacy – the ability to speak, listen, understand, watch and draw. With time and support, your child will also come to understand the connection between letters on a page and spoken sounds. For this to happen, they need plenty of experience with: pictures and objects(how you can use words to talk about them), Letters and words (their shape, sound and names), sounds (how the words can rhyme, begin and end with letters, be broken up into parts, be formed by making different sounds).https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/literacy-reading-stories/developing-literacy

Play-based learning plays a crucial role in the development of literacy and numeracy. Both literacy and numeracy are forms of communication; ways in which we represent and share information with others about our world. Because literacy and numeracy are essential life skills, children need opportunities to use them (and to see them being used) in real life situations. https://studylib.net/doc/8837521/play-based-approaches-to-literacy-and-numeracy

One important fact to note is that learning the alphabet and to read is not part of the Early Childhood Curriculum.  These are part of the Primary School Curriculum and children will be taught these once they get to school.

Maths is present in children’s everyday play.
Most construction toys, from wooden blocks to Lego bricks, are designed so that they fit together neatly and easily. Typically the pieces of such toys are scaled so that their dimensions are in proportion to all of the others. The nature of these proportions means that such construction materials are an ideal medium for teaching and learning about mathematical relationships. This may sound complex, but when you observe it in action, it shows how much maths is present in children’s everyday play. At a basic level such materials encourage the use of positional language and the language of measurement. This can be relatively informal—long and short, big and small, over and under, on top of and below—but it can also become more specific and precise. https://studylib.net/doc/8837521/play-based-approaches-to-literacy-and-numeracy

Meal Times: Sharing meals together help;
EYLF : 1. IDENTITY : Children have a strong sense of identity
Build secure attachment with others, openly express their feelings and ideas in their interactions with others, show interest in other children and being part of a group.
EYLF : 3.WELLBEING : Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Recognize and communicate their bodily needs (ie. Thirst, hunger, rest, comfort, physical activity), are happy, healthy, safe and are connected to others.

Nature & the Environment: Mikey – our Ninja Turtle, Fish Pond, Bush Kinder, Pets from Home(Guinea Pigs, Case Moths) Gardening.

Being able to play, observe, interact with Nature and the Environment helps;
EYLF : 2. COMMUNITY : Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Demonstrate an increasing knowledge of respect for natural and constructed environments, explore, infer, predict and hypothesize in order to develop and increased understanding of the interdependence between land, people, plants and animals, show growing appreciation and care for natural and constructed environments, explore relationships with other living and non-living things and observe, notice and respond to change, develop an awareness of the impact of human activity on environments and the interdependence of living things.
EYLF : 4. LEARNING : Children are confident and involved learners
Express wonder and interest in their environments, are curious and enthusiastic participants in their learning, use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas, follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration.

Painting: Painting helps children;
EYLF : 3.WELLBEING : Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Show an increasing capacity to understand, self regulate and manage their emotions in ways that reflect the feelings and needs of others, enjoy moments of solitude, recognize their individual achievements.
EYLF : 4. LEARNING : Children are confident and involved learners
follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration, follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration.

Kelly Sports

Physical Activity: When children use physical activity in the play their Fine and Gross Motor Skills, Co-ordination and Balance are enhanced. They;
EYLF : 3.WELLBEING : Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Are happy, healthy, safe and are connected to others, engage in increasingly complex sensory-motor skills and movement patterns, combine gross and fine motor movement and balance to achieve increasingly complex patterns of activity, including dance, creative movement and drama, seek out and accept new challenges, make new discoveries, and celebrate their own efforts and achievements and those of others, increasingly cooperate and work collaboratively with others, use their sensory capabilities and dispositions with increasing integration, skill and purpose to explore and respond to their world, demonstrate spatial awareness and orient themselves, moving around and through their environments confidently and safely.

Reading Area: Reading and storytelling with your child promotes brain development and imagination, teaches your child about language and emotions, and strengthens your relationship. Sharing stories, talking and singing every day helps your child’s development in lots of ways. Reading and sharing stories can: help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills, learn to value books and stories, spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity, help your child’s brain, social skills and communication skills develop, help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’ help your child understand change and new or frightening events, and also the strong emotions that can go along with them.
Sharing stories with your child doesn’t mean you have to read.
Just by looking at books with your child, you can be a great storyteller and a good model for using language and books. Your child will learn by watching you hold a book the right way and seeing how you move through the book by gently turning the pages. https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/play-learning/literacy-reading-stories/reading-storytelling

Sensory Play: Play dough, Snow, Finger Painting, Kinetic Sand, Dirt, Sand, Water, Ice.
Sensory Play helps;
EYLF : 1. IDENTITY : Children have a strong sense of identity
Establish and maintain respectful, trusting relationships with other children and educators, increasingly cooperate and work collaboratively with others
EYLF : 3.WELLBEING : Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Make choices, accept challenges, take considered risks, manage change and cope with frustrations and the unexpected, show an increasing capacity to understand, self regulate and manage their emotions in ways that reflect the feelings and needs of others, manipulate equipment and manage tools with increasing competence and skill.
EYLF : 4. LEARNING : Children are confident and involved learners
Use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas, follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration, initiate and contribute to play experiences emerging from their own ideas, use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas, follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration. – initiate and contribute to play experiences emerging from their own ideas.

TECHNOLOGY :Provides equal opportunity for all children in the kindergarten community. We use iPads, iPod, Camera, Lap Top, CD Player, Wireless Headphones.
PHYSICAL DOMAIN: Fine Motor skills, Hand-eye co-ordination
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL DOMAIN: Turn taking, sharing (Time limited), Acceptable behaviour, Self-concept, Social interaction
COGNITIVE DOMAIN:
Memory – processing information, recall, understanding, reason & solve problems, counting, sorting, literacy, attention span, Imagination – thinking of ways to do something, Creativity – experimentation, exploration Language skills – expressive and receptive language
EYLF
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
Children are curious and enthusiastic participants in their learning
Use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas
Follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration
Persevere and experience the satisfaction of achievement
Persist when they find a task difficult
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators:
Draw on memory of a sequence to complete a task
Engage with technology for fun and to make meaning
Children use information and communication technologies to access information investigate ideas and represent their thinking.

Yoga: The children really enjoyed using breathing techniques and positioning their bodies into the various poses.
EYLO : 3.WELLBEING : Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Combine gross and fine motor movement and balance to achieve increasingly complex patterns of activity, including dance, creative movement and drama, show enthusiasm for participating in physical play and negotiate play spaces to ensure the safety and wellbeing of themselves and others, Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves.
Read more here: http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/09/24/giving-kids-the-gift-of-yoga-top-10-benefits-of-yoga-for-children/