Play-based learning embodies the hands-on approach to learning that distinguishes Montessori learning from much of what transpires with mainstream curriculum. Hands-on learning supports children in exploring their curiosities, passions, senses, and leadership abilities in more ways than one.
The Montessori Method is founded on the principle that children are naturally intelligent, naturally curious, and naturally capable leaders. When children are exposed to play-based learning, they are encouraged to develop numerous critical life skills by engaging in activities that promote:
- Spatial awareness
- Gross motor skill coordination
- Fine motor skills
- The five senses
- Kinetic movement
- Emotional and intellectual knowledge
Montessori preschool instruction encourages young learners to develop social skills as well, including empathy and awareness of their emotions and those of their classmates. Children learn best when they’re free to explore concepts using a hands-on approach as opposed to sitting at desks and listening to lessons.
The Benefits of Play-Based Learning
Play-based learning embodies the core of essential activities as students explore and engage with their environment in self-directed ways, allowing them to take control of their learning experiences. Play-based learning keeps their attention focused as they discover the world around them.
Some of the greatest benefits of play-based learning for preschool students include the following:
- Social skill development
- Improved language skills
- Cognitive development
- Improved emotional and coping skills
- Enhanced creativity
- Physical development
In addition, preschool children who participate in Montessori play-based learning develop a positive attitude about learning overall.
Incorporating this type of learning allows young learners to enjoy their environment and encourages them to explore new things. When they are excited to learn and engaged in their classroom, it also boosts their memory and information retention.
What Are the Top 3 Examples of Play-Based Learning?
Play-based learning is essential for children to develop active learning, which they need as they grow and use their minds to learn more complex curricula. The following are three effective, engaging play-based learning activities for Montessori preschool students:
Using frames is an excellent way to promote independence and development in the classroom. These can be button frames, dressing frames, buckle frames, zipping frames, or the like. Children can practice developing strong fine motor skills as they practice zipping, buttoning, and buckling on their own.
Each type of frame allows the child to practice essential skills that promote self-sufficiency and autonomy, which are essential qualities in the young leaders of tomorrow.
Some of the best examples of play-based learning are those that allow children to manipulate and care for things in their environment in enjoyable and engaging ways. Children learn responsibility and awareness of their surroundings by caring for things around them.
These tasks can include things like watering plants, gluing paper together, gathering or sorting supplies, straightening or organizing toys, washing windows or tables, and even sweeping.
Binomial cubes are some of the most popular items in many Montessori preschool classrooms. These are color-coded wooden blocks that come in an array of different sizes; the blocks fit together just as puzzle pieces do.
The cubes are used to help children learn as they play, teaching students organization and manipulation. They also help introduce students to the basic foundational idea of algebraic equations.
The Montessori Philosophy and Play-Based Learning
Montessori preschool classes are centered around students, whereas with conventional classrooms, education is teacher-based. Students progress and grow at their own pace, and play-based learning not only accelerates and encourages that growth but also expands and deepens it.
Start Your Child on the Right Path with Play-Based Learning in Montessori Preschool
The individualized nature of a Montessori education encourages young learners to reach beyond conventional grade-level learning as far as their self-directed learning will take them.
Montessori School of Flagstaff holds the most stringent Montessori accreditation status. Reach out to us today about the benefits your child can reap through play-based learning with us.