Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0Y7qBlwpFA

Children do some of their best learning when they play. In this workshop, you’ll celebrate the importance of play and help parents brainstorm ways they can encourage play-based learning at home and on the go.

  1. Watch the video together with parents, then discuss ways parents remember playing when they were kids. Ask parents to talk in small groups about a cherished memory of playing. Ask: “What’s something you loved to play as a kid?” “What do you love about it?” “Why do you think this play memory has stuck with you?” Invite parents to share their memories with the while group.

Explain that as parents played as kids, they were also:

    • Developing social skills (sharing, cooperation)
    • Learning new vocabulary and concepts
    • Practicing problem-solving skills
    • Overcoming fears
    • Building mental flexibility
    • Learning to wait and take turns (self-control)
    • Building memory
    • Developing gross and fine-motor skills
    • Inspiring creativity
  1. Then, ask parents to share ways their children play on their own. Ask: “How does your child like to play?” “Where do you see her playing most?” “What does he like to play with friends?” “What does she like to play alone?” “What do they like to play with you?”
  2. Next, brainstorm ways parents might add to the scenarios they’ve described. Choose a scenario and ask the group to think of a few ways they might discover the benefits of play by taking this even further. How might they join in? Could they add any props? Music? Stories? (Everyday materials like paper-towel tubes, boxes, oversized socks, and stuffed animals are great for inspiring play.)