The importance of play in the early years!

As a trained nursery nurse and an early years specialised teacher I have strong views on child development and the best ways that children learn.

But I’m so shocked to see the views of many reception teachers that believe in formal type teaching for 4 year olds!

I think learning can be created in a play based way which is engaging and enriching for young children rather than children being pushed though a set of instructions sat at a table like a product on a conveyer belt!

I do feel like I’m on a bit of a rant with this rather than a blog post, but my passion for this is so strong!

I enjoy reading about the ways in which children learn and the provision teachers can plan for children to support this.

Play based learning can help children develop critical thinking, problem solving and social skills in self initiated activities with the teacher being the facilitator of this.

(Taken from the conversation).

Although research has provided that this is much more effective than adult led learning, it still isn’t looked upon as being as important in many schools?I personally think this is due to the demands of the curriculum and the pressure of the job. Teachers feel they have to get children to a certain point and the only way they can see them reach that point is through more adult input…

With the whole debate of a child’s ‘readiness’ for school it’s clear to see how teachers are pressurised into doing the opposite of what child development states.

I’m hoping one day this will change, as education is definitely not a one size fits all, and we should be creating a curriculum that fits in with the child rather than a curriculum that we try fit the child into.

I’d love to know your thoughts?


Published by sabrinafayepinnock

A Primary School teacher and blogger. Passionate about all things educational and child development. Let me hear your thoughts!

14 thoughts on “The importance of play in the early years!

  1. I strongly believe that children learn while they play. I have learned to balance the two by creating specific play based instruction paired with open ended play for a balance for my 4s. They have to do one “must do” learning area each day (math, art, writing are my typical stations) and then they can do play at any number of “may do” stations. This allows them to have both structured and unstructured learning each day

    1. Ooh il have a look! Sounds great. I know a few nurseries are trying to use the outdoors a lot more and there is one that’s completely outdoor in the uk too! Thank you for your comments☺️

  2. Maybe our adult thinking gets in the way! I write children’s books and I wrote and produced TV shows for children for years, but I still sometimes get locked in my own adult view of the world. I think you make a good point about play-based learning.

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