Learning Through Play

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Learning Through Play

Postby buds » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:19 am

[Editor's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

"Teaching for creativity involves teaching creatively... to put it in
another way, teachers cannot develop the creative abilities of their
students if their own creative abilities are suppressed..." (NACCE1999:90)

Role play is an activity that most people immediately relate to the
Early Years. There are many advantages of role-playing in general.

Role-play can...

>motivate children to learn

>motivate children to engage in activities

>seem more like play than work

>enable children to look at learning various
things in a new light

For example, role-play activities can be used to develop
skills important inside and outside of Mathematics, many
of which can be difficult to teach using the traditional
methods of instruction llike self-awareness, problem
solving, communiction, initiative and teamwork.

If role-play environment includes research for problem
solving, children are more likely to retain knowledge that
they have constructed themselves, than that simply handed
to them in other classroom activities.


Age : 3yrs to 4yrs old
Role-playing : A Shoe Shop
Resources : shoes, slippers, boots, shoe bags/boxes, trainers (etc)

>What is the relationship between the measurements...
>Matching activity from shoes to the box (that fits)
>Counting in 2's (even numbers introduction)

>Trace shoe shapes.. write numbers on them and cut the shapes out...
Make a path for children to follow (in the house), which can lead mebbe
something "special"! You decide the special surprise! :wink:

>Design your own slipper! Trace shape of child's shoe/foot around a
piece of hard drawing block or or construction paper.. Cut out a strap
from coloured paper. Glue on the strap to the slipper/sandal shape.
Stick sequins, crepe paper balls, or even letters to the child's name
and do the same for the other foot. Put to dry and ready for play!

>Play shoe sales complete with paper bag and cash register. Label the
shoes with price tags. Children arrange the shop as they like. Use chips
for counting (like coins) or make your own paper money from coloured
paper, or use those from the cash register (usually comes with some $$)
or even Monopoly money.



One of the most usual Mathematical role-play environments that is
created is a shop with a focus for money. However, if you have ever
really listened... to small children's exchanges in shops - donuts can
cost a hundred dollars! And you still get change!!! :shock:

Any shop ideally needs real money to make the children feel that they
are actually shopping!

Age : 5yrs to 7yrs old
Role-playing : Little Bakery
Resources : Variety of bread/cakes, table and table cloth (etc)

>You can teach the different names to bread and pastry through
role-play. Mummy and Daddy can be the customers and unsure of
which to buy from the Little Bakery cause all of the foods there are
looking so scrumptious! My kiddies have a set of like 8 bread types
and comes with matching picture cards to play matching games with.
They love it.


>Make your own recipe book! And mebbe even get to really bake one!
Recipe books are great for story sequencing, which is also a part of
composition writing. Children learn the process of making/baking and
learn helpful verbs like cracking (eggs), mixing, blending and whisking
(etc) in their writings. And also about measurements of the ingredients
required to bake one of their favourites!

>Make your own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Children can learn
sequencing during this simple activity which can be followed up with card
sequencing play (picture cards) and also written activity like this one...

Children should learn how important it is to give directions in order, or
step-by-step. After all, you can't eat a cake before you make it! You can't
have sandwich before you make it! If you have watched the movie "I NOT
STUPID", there is a scene where the kidnapped boy was told to make his
own breakfast ie. make coffee and bread on his own but his answe was,
"Wo-pu-hui..." (I dunno / I cannot ). Hence, this exercise also allows for
the much needed fine motor skills to make bread. Yes... spreading butter
and jam requires the work of the fine motor. :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The step by step directions below got all mixed up. Number the directions
in the right order... 1..2..3.. and so on, until the sandwich is made. :wink:



_____ Cut the sandwich in half.

_____ Spread peanut butter on one slice.

_____ Put the two slices of bread together.

_____ Get two slices of bread, a knife (butter knife), and jars of peanut butter and jelly.

_____ Spread jelly on the other slice.

_____ Clean up and put things away.

_____ Put bread on a plate.


>Work with adjectives! Make a variety of pastries using play dough and
get children to come up with creative or special names for them... Tell
them to think of words to make their pastries delightful and seem super
yummy to attract more customers.

>Play cafe! Children can make their own menus put up at their cafes.
Different varieties for breakfast, lunch and dinner! My girls use their
green blocks for salads and greens, red ones for cakes/pastries and
those brown ones for bread or rice..

Here's my elder girl's own CHEF's PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION
to share with all! I bought her a nice thick ring-bind notebook from
Popular, filled with brightly coloured quality paper for any sketches
she may want to draw in or her own thought-of projects... And these
are some of her creations in there. :wink:

Image Image
Image Image

Always make learning fun!
Learning should inspire, not perspire!
Last edited by buds on Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Learning Through Play (2)

Postby buds » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:17 am

The role of play in education has been emphasized by psychologists
since the beginning of the century and the benefits of learning through
play are now well established. Play gives children many learning

*Acting out and making sense of real-life situations

*Exploring, investigating and experimenting

*Collaborating with others

*Expressing ideas and feelings confidently

*Developing an awareness of themselves and others

Many play schools and kindergartens will say they practice
learning through play but the staff have to be aware of this
philosophy. Learning through play is not simply putting the
children in a room full of toys. The role of the adults is vital.
He/She models appropriate behaviour, asks the children
questions and stimulates conversations. In this way, PLAY
can motivate children, help develop their memory and their
concentration skills. PLAY will also contribute to their emotional
well-being, social and cognitive development.

So... play with your children today
....... everyday ....... :hugs:

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Postby sunflower » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:33 pm

It's really quite interesting to note that girls seem to play quite similar stuff. My girls love to play shop too. They'll open shoe shop using the many pairs of Barbie shoes they have, or they'll ransack my house and display all the nick knacks if it's gonna be a departmental store. We have this toy cashier and one of my girls wld be the cashier, complete with plastic bags to put the stuff sold while the other wld be the customer.

The other favourite is the sushi/Japanese food store. We have those mini, very real-life models of Japanese food made from erasers given by my girls' cousin. (Kinokuniya sells them but very expensive. We found some cheaper ones and added to the collection). DD1 wld create a menu complete with price and some pictures. Again, one of my girls wld be the chef/foodstore owner while the other the customer. Of course they'll pester us to play with them and be one of their customers too...some more must queue up, to show the store is crowded and popular...:P

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Postby 2blurcats » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:17 pm

hey buds,
Thanks for the info on role play :)

I did it with my 2yr 4mth dd these last few days, and guess what? She really enjoyed it! And I'm surprised she could tell me the fish costs "two dollar" (she cannot really pronounce "s" yet), and asked me for the money. When I pretended to give her the money, she pretended to go to the market and I actually heard her saying "Uncle.... may I... fish.... two dollar... thank you.."

And now she can build her own "thermometer" with those little rubber type of lego-like fixtures, beep it over Daddy's forehead and tells him he is OK to go into the room (classroom to be exact, since she is imitating her teacher).

This is really fun!

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Postby buds » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:25 pm

Aiyoh! So cute your bb! :love:

And SO SMART too! :lol:
Fantastic simulation exercise of
the customer AND being the teacher! 8)

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Confectionery Truck

Postby buds » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:31 pm


Fancy a truck to play with.... That contains loads
of scrummy bread (tho not for eating) :P..... And
with matching picture cards/info cards for learning
through play?

Share what i have..
A gift for my DD from her doting grandma who is
great at baking too by the way! Thank you, grandma!


One we received came in pink and with a cute lock
to lock up all the goodies ala a real truck! 8)


Back of truck opens up to reveal a short ladder and
for sliding all the bread out. Cute!


Out comes the goodies... Nice or not! :drool:
When beginning the play session, introduce
the individual pieces one at a time, its name,
its shape and colour and mebbe also can go
into the description of its taste.


After which, children can be invited to match
corresponding cards with the fake bread...
If working with a younger child, parents can
read the names to them. :wink: You read,
they match! :D


Then, you may let them play shop!
And of course if you're into baking,
more fun to organize a fun baking &
decorating session to reinforce the
play concept. What better way to have
one's cake and eat it, aye! :wink:

Uhhmm... remember to get them to
wash their hands. Or wear plastic
gloves... if you want the food to be
on the ermm... edible side. :wink:

Close up pix for you guys here!
Have fun with your children!


Learning should inspire, not perspire.. hopefully. Ahakz!

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Postby RRMummy » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:37 pm

:drool: nice!! thanks for the idea buds! :celebrate:

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Postby buds » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:40 pm


Miss ya, RRMummy!

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Postby RRMummy » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:42 pm

buds wrote::celebrate:

Miss ya, RRMummy!

Yes, me too.. seems you've been lying pretty low..

btw.. me growing into giraffe already :wink:

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Postby buds » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:28 am

No lah, where got?
Just chillin'... And
preparin' more
juicy stuff for you
all lah.. :wink:

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