Young children are infinitely curious and often seek out connections of meaning in their developing sphere. As they grow, their senses are on high alert, absorbing the elements, textures and sounds of the world they are in – constantly adding to their knowledge bank. Early childhood development is intricately linked to play and through play, children begin to learn.
There are significant learning advantages tied to free play, but at the heart of the matter, play is more than a linear, measurable part. Play intricately weaves knowledge and skills that children will carry with them throughout their life, and encourages the refinement of skills through social interaction, toy play and a wide range of activities such as craft, cooking, outdoor play and singing.
Play and connection is a major focus at Playgroup Victoria. Playgroup base their early learning programs on the idea that babies make great developmental milestones during play. For example, reaching their arms up to grasp their parents’ hand, crawling to their favourite toy, or forming words to communicate. Healthy habits are also established early at playgroup as the children learn about nutrition during snack time and exercise as a big part of natural play. Knowledge surrounding diet and healthy activity is reinforced.
One of the key elements of playgroup is that parents are encouraged to spend time with their child and relax as they play freely. It is a community-based environment where kids are free to play in a safe space.
Local playgroup leader Jessica Quinn emphasises that it is not only for her children, but it is a vital part of her own life. Adult conversation! Advice! A cup of tea! “I need playgroup because it gives me a healthy mental state. I do not know what I would do if I could not go to playgroup with my kids - I feel it most stimulating going to playgroup and managing it. Even doing crafts with the children, I create something from nothing. It gives me a sense of belonging and achievement. I love it!”
All families are invited to be part of their local playgroup. From when your child is born, there is opportunity to reach out to playgroup for resources, advice and interactive sessions. Visit Find a playgroup to locate one nearest you. Sessions usually run once or twice a week. You can also start your own playgroup!
For further details visit playgroup.org.au
This is a sponsored post by Playgroup Victoria