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Play Based Learning

When a child gets groomed and gains information during play it is called ‘play based learning’. Taking a closer look at techniques of play, it can either be directed by the child i.e. free play or directed by the teacher i.e. guided play. Free play is famous for preparing a child socially and allowing self-regulation. On the contrary, guided play provides with beneficial academic skills development and provides preschool learning so that child stays a step ahead to other children when he starts school. According to Doris Bergen, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology, no matter which type is employed both prove to be positively productive and lead to child’s cognitive development along with social and academic life. Although there is a variation in views that what must be a part of play and what must not be in terms of types of play employed.[i]

The numbers of children including toddlers, who have digital games compatible devices, are increasing day by day. However, this new emerging trend has probably reported to have caused more damage than good. Use of electronic devices pose huge harm to children as according to the latest researches it increases the risk of non-malignant tumors and cancer as the thin layer of child brain can absorb twice times more radiations than an adult’s brain does. [ii] This may be very hard for most of the parents of this ‘millennial’ generation. Susan Edwards from Australian Catholic University suggests that the parents can keep a check at the time spent by children on these devices and the types of games that children play. They must keep a healthy balance in digital gaming, indoor and outdoor games, as all of them are need of time and have their own benefits to the development of child personality[iii].


Albert Einstein said, "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." He also stated that: “Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.”


If this this true, then environment must be modified and structured by parents and educators using proactive approach to promote play based learning. They need to provide the child with a variety of toys including wooden blocks, puzzles, crafts and costumes. Such toys made on high safety standards are good for their cognitive development and promotes love of nature .[iv] Children must be allowed to play freely so that they can improve socially and self-regulate. Yet, unfortunately, it is insufficient to provide academic learning to these toddlers which is can boost their other skills such as reading and speaking. Therefore there must be minor guidance during play to ensure safety and learning outcomes to be as desired.[v]


[i] [iii] [v] Tremblay RE, Boivin M, Peters RDeV, eds. Pyle A, topic ed. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/play-based-learning/synthesis. Updated February 2018. Accessed August 3, 2019.


[ii] [iv] Atique, F. (2017, Feburary 01). PhoneWorld. Retrieved August 08, 2019, from 4 Harmful Effects of Mobile Phone on Kids: https://www.phoneworld.com.pk/4-harmful-effects-of-mobile-phone-on-kids/


This blog is written by our Intern Sehar Waheed - She is currently a student of Psychology and loves writing.

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