3) Learning and development

Play is the primary means by which children learn about themselves and explore the world around them. Incorporating play and playful environments in children’s landscapes can shore up learning as well as their physical, social and emotional development. This theme explores the means by which diverse play opportunities and richly-provisioned playful environments support and promote child learning and development, including:

  • Learning through play; play in education; play in the curriculum
  • The role of play in holistic development
  • Learning ‘play’scapes; playful environments in learning or care settings
  • Play in informal learning environments (e.g. museums, libraries, science centres, community centres)
  • Design and planning for playful learning environments
  • The value of free play; unstructured play; loose parts play
  • The role of adventure or ‘risky play’ in learning and development; the challenges of offering ‘risky play’ opportunities
  • Creative learning; experiential learning; natural inquiry
  • Playwork strategies, programs and training
  • Playfulness of teachers and other educational leaders