When children play they are learning valuable skills that include social, cognitive and physical development. When children play they are continually learning. Play based learning comes about as a result of a child’s curiosity and exploration and is often based on their interests and making sense of the world around them.
"Every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts”
Article 31, United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child (UNRC)
The International Play Association regards play as:
- PLAY, along with the basic needs of nutrition, health, shelter and education, is vital to develop the potential of all children.
- PLAY is communication and expression, combining thought and action; it gives satisfaction and a feeling of achievement.
- PLAY is instinctive, voluntary, and spontaneous.
- PLAY helps children develop physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.
- PLAY is a means of learning to live, not a mere passing of time.
(IPA, 2020, http://ipaworld.org/childs-right-to-play/the-childs-right-to-play/)
The list below offers links to play ideas for use at home, including outdoor and indoor play and what to use from around the home.
Things to Play With Around Your Home
Number Play for Children 2 and 3
Homemade Toys and Free Activities for Kids Aged 0-8 (this is also available is Farsi, Karen, Chinese and Dari)
Managing Play at Home That Feels Noisy or Destructive
DIY Non-toys for Kids Using Things From the Kitchen
Fun and Educational Baby Toys You Can DIY
20 Indoor Games to Keep the Kids Entertained
Old-School Games to Play with Kids
21 Enjoyable Indoor Games For Kids
STEAM Play Resources
The list below is a link to STEAM based play ideas for kids to use at home.
- ABC Early Education STEM videos
- ABC Kids Listen - Music and Stories.
- Fuse - STEM Education resources for Pre-schoolers
- Department of Education STEM Education Resources for Pre-schoolers
- Early Year Numeracy - Birth to Level 2
- National Gallery of Victoria – Art and Play Ideas
- Peep and the big wide world – animated series that introduces science and math to pre-schoolers.
- Playgroups NSW – Play Activities
- Playgroup Queensland Activities
- Play and Learn Ideas for Newborns to Preschoolers
- Literacy Play
- Numeracy Play for Babies
- Play and Learn Ideas from Raising Children
- 5 Minute Mum - Play Ideas and Tips
- Wyndham Library e-Library Education and Play Resources
The Importance of Play
In this list you will find a handpicked selection of local and international information on what play is and why it is important.
Raising Children Australia - Free Time to Play: Why it’s Important for Children
7 Ways Play is Beneficial for Kids' Health- Queensland Health
How Fun and Games Help Children Thrive – The Healthy Children Organisation
Providing a Play Environment - The Healthy Children Organisation
The Cognitive Benefits of Play: Effects on the Learning Brain