Types of Play

Free
Play
Inquiry
Play
Collaborative Play
Playful
Learning
Learning
Through
Games

Free Play

What is free play?

In free play, children direct their own play and determine the resources that are used. There is little to no educator involvement in the structure of the play.

Why do educators use it? 

Educators encourage the use of free play in the classroom to foster self-regulation, independence, and self-motivated learning.

Building with Wooden Blocks and Natural

Inquiry Play

What is inquiry play?

In inquiry play, the play is child-initiated. Educators extend the play by integrating related academic curriculum expectations.

Why do educators use it? 

Educators follow the child’s lead and expand upon their interests.

Leaf Art.HEIC

Collaborative Play

What is collaborative play?

In collaborative play, educators determine the academic skills students will develop through participation in this type of play. The educator and students work together to design the centre and the resources to be used in the play. The children then direct the play within the created environment.

Why do educators use it? 

This collaboratively created context of play provides opportunities for children to direct their own play narratives, as well as allowing natural opportunities for the teacher to integrate academic skills into the play.

Haunted House 1

Playful Learning

What is playful learning?

In playful learning, the educator directs the academic outcomes, and the children influence the play narrative. In essence, educators set up prescribed activities that contain playful elements.

Why do educators use it? 

Playful learning is often used to support the learning of targeted academic skills in a manner that is playful and engaging for students. Teachers may use these prescribed activities to provide students with practice in math and literacy concepts that are part of whole class instruction.

Flower Shop Centre.HEIC
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Learning Through Games

What is learning through games?

In learning through games, the educator is in control of the process and the outcome of the activity. The child follows the educator-prescribed rules of the games.  This is the most prescriptive type of play-based learning.

Why do educators use it? 

Learning through games is often used to promote discrete math and language skills. Educators use Learning through games in order to teach curriculum expectations in an engaging manner.

Letter Picture Match.HEIC
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