Learning Through Play

The Four Areas of Early Learning

"Early learning refers to the emerging and expanding of young children’s physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and creative capacities. All children are born with a curiosity about themselves, other people, and the world around them, and in this sense are born learners. As they grow, they develop both their capacity and dispositions to learn through supportive relationships with their families, with other children and adults in their communities, and with their environments. Early learning is the foundation for lifelong learning, and the basis for individual, social, economic, and environmental well-being."  - The British Columbia Early Learning Framework 

Well Being + Belonging

A sense of well being + belonging is essential as children learn + explore the world around them. We can help by providing an environment + activities that make a child feel safe, respected and in control of their bodies.

Practice this through:

  • Open-ended art activities
  • Fine + Gross Motor Activities
  • Providing activities for all styles of learning

Exploration + Creativity 

Appreciate + encourage a child’s natural curiosity to discover + explore the world around them. Using their physical body + five senses to actively explore, think + reason.

Practice this through:

  • Sensory Activities
  • Using creative materials in many ways
  • Collecting + Sorting
  • Open ended art activities
  • Free play
  • Outdoor + Nature play

Social Responsibility + Diversity

Set up activities to help children promote social responsibility + respect for diversity. Using books + materials children can learn to appreciate + celebrate diversity. Provide tools for children to recognize discrimination and inequality and respond appropriately. 

Languages + Literacy

Exploring languages + symbols by engaging with children in creative play. 
Communicating through many different forms of expression + being curious about vocabulary, concepts + the written language.

Practice this through:

  • Using music, drama, art + language to communicate their ideas
  • Make learning visible - drawings, maps, etc.
  • Open ended questions, encourage conversation
  • Sign language
  • Books in other languages
  • Sound + Word play games
  • Use numbers for meaningful purposes - counting the table settings


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. ” - Mr. Rogers