Learning through play

Play not only underpins the EYFS, it also underpins learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. The role that adults have is crucial. Adults provide time and space and appropriate resources, for example, these might include clothes, boxes, buckets, old blankets that will inspire play and fire children’s imaginations. Adults observe play and join in when invited, watching and listening before intervening. They value play and provide safe but challenging environments that support and extend learning and development.