The ABC’s of Learning Through Play U-Z

ABC's of Learning Through Play

U is for Unstructured Play

Children need time for unstructured play- nearly double the amount of structured play. Children learn so much when they are left to their own devices and allowed to play freely. While parent-led play can be fun and has its place, allowing your child free time to play on their own is crucial. Playing outdoors is a wonderful example of unstructured play and children need opportunities each day to play outside.

Unstructured play

V is for Vygotsky

Vygotsky, a child development theorist, believed that one way children learn is through “scaffolding”. Scaffolding is when someone more knowledgeable, like a parent, helps children through questions, suggestions, guidance, etc., to do something that is just above the child’s current skill. An example of this would be to help a child understand how to complete a puzzle by making suggestions or showing them how, by example, to do it.


W is for Water Play

Water play is a form of sensory play. Children learn through pouring, measuring, and dumping. Water play is completely open-ended. Children learn pre-math skills, problem-solving skills, and much more through playing with water. Children can enhance water play by using toys, making bubbles, or colored ice cubes.


X is for Xylophone 

Bring out the drums! Children learn so much when they are playing instruments or dancing to music: they learn creative expression through playing and through movement. Language can also be enhanced through music. Ask them how a song or instrument makes them feel.


Y is for Yellow

Children can learn colors through simple play. When playing, label things according to their color. You may also try a color scavenger hunt

cover color

Z is for Zebra

Through play, children can build their understanding about their world and about the creatures that inhabit it. Small world play is when children are provided with small figurines and other play materials to play and interact with a “small world”. Animal toys are great for small world play. A small world farm or a small world zoo is a great way for children to learn about animals through play.

Learning Through Play Quote

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