“We can no longer teach 21st century learners using old pedagogical methods alone. The future beckons, and that future is digital – the fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. It is an exciting world where play-based learning and other active pedagogies not only play a role in the cognitive development of the child, but development of each child’s ability for collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence.” Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, Republic of South Africa (https://www.legofoundation.com/media/1664/creating-creators_full-report.pdf)
Play is an integral part of early learning and healthy development. An explosion of research in neuroscience and other developmental sciences creates overwhelming evidence of the profound influence of playful early experiences in a child’s healthy development. Responsive, rich social interactions with trusted, loving adults builds healthy brain connections. Through playful learning, children can become life-long learners who adapt and flourish in an uncertain, complex world.
Play is widely understood to spark imagination, problem solving, teamwork, and empathy. Through playful learning, children develop collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence (Golinkoff & Hirsch-Pasek, 2016).
Play offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children. It is also an essential tool for educators in school settings. Play helps children develop new competencies that lead to increased confidence and the flexibility to face future challenges.
At Play Africa, we prototype early learning activities that will empower children in an increasingly technological world. More than ever before, dynamic learning experiences are essential for economic and social reasons.