How Child-led Play connects children with their innate talents?
Child-Led Play gives children opportunities to be the sole authors of their learning experiences, take their play into any direction that is the most inspiring at the current moment and the most suitable for children’s current educational and developmental needs and preferences.
This gives children plenty of space to creatively experiment with environments using their body, existing skills and ideas, test new ideas out in the world and discover how they feel about certain experiences, which they enjoy the most, which they feel most empowered by and the most confident about.
By experimenting with the world through their own self-directed play, children discover what they are truly capable of, what boundaries they would like to cross, and when they feel ready to do so.
And because in child-led play children are the sole authors of their experiences, there is no external pressure related to time, results, learning outcomes, etc. This makes the entire process very intuitive, natural and personalised. The more personalised the experiences, the bigger the chances are to discover one’s natural gifts, inner strengths and leadership styles.
2. How does the concept of Child-led Play work?
Child-Led Play is a very advanced approach, even though it may seem simple. But we are saying it from the perspective of educators. For a child it’s a very intuitive, obvious and straight forward thing. Actually, it’s their only preferred choice.
Child-Led Play is not the same as play-based learning where the adult is still in charge of shaping the learning experiences using play as a tool.
In Child-Led Play the educator, or another adult interacting with the child, becomes a facilitator – a person who observes, reflects on their observations, and offers the most enabling environments for the children to engage in.
This refers to making sure the space and context is safe and inspiring for the children to experiment with. Safety factor is very important because children’s creativity is limitless, so whether it’s a nursery, a play centre, child’s own room or a public playground, we need to make sure the environment does not limit the children but inspires them to experiment and bring their gifts to the world. The same applies to resources, toys, equipment, tools, and the pedagogy style used.
We trust that the child knows how they need to experience certain environments and what they need to learn at a given moment, and our role as an adult-educator is to make sure they can do it in a safe, relaxed and exciting way.
3. What are the outcomes of this approach?
Child-Led Play unlocks child’s full potential faster than any other approach because the learning process is fully personalised.
This alone means the child can work mostly through their strengths, which is a much faster and much more effective way to learn and to achieve mastery. There is little point in making the way longer and asking the child to learn things they are not naturally geared for and drawn to, or learn in the manner they do not enjoy. And this seems particularly important nowadays when the world needs conscious leaders who truly understand their gifts and know how to use them to make positive and long lasting changes in all areas of our life.
The world accelerates and the speed is faster than ever. We need to make sure we don’t waste time by taking unnecessary detours while the most direct and at the same time the most enjoyable way is easily available. Taking the faster route means we are able to help those who might benefit from our gifts now and not some time in the future.
To learn more about Child-led learning/ Personalized Learning and Nurturing Children’s Leadership Mindset register for our F-R-E-E Training for Educators/Early Childhood Education Providers ” The Secrets of World Class Early Childhood Education”
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