Research tells us that play is the brain’s favoured way to learn. It also shows that through play, the neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for problem solving, regulating emotions and the efficiency of cognition) can be strengthened faster.
From birth to 8 years of age, these pathways form at an exponential rate, so, by consciously choosing how we play, we can have maximum impact on healthy brain development.
Although play is somewhat difficult to define, the characteristics of what it looks like and the different types of play that happen are relatively straightforward. One key characteristic is the need for some form of agency; whereby child expression, choice and freedom to play their way is fostered and encouraged.
Through the eyes of an early childhood educator, Connetix tiles are invaluable. They are extremely versatile and perfect to use in practicing, consolidating and mastering skills extending across multiple learning areas. For example, in Mathematics alone they naturally lend themselves to assist teaching colour recognition, counting, patterning, shape identification and geometry.
Knowing and utilizing this is powerful, however it’s also important not to overlook their strength in unstructured play. Connetix organically lend themselves to offer endless opportunities for play limited only by one’s imagination.
Here are a few steps to consider next time you get Connetix Tiles out for play that not only capitalise on the holistic nature of learning through play, but also promote agency and freedom for children to play their way:
- Provide a simple, open-ended provocation. This could be a pile of Connetix tiles with something like a basket of loose parts, a familiar book, animal figurines of even random recyclable materials. Be mindful not to have a specific learning outcome in mind, but rather invite your child to take the activity in any direction they choose.
- Give your child the opportunity to explore and discover without interruption. If they appear to be stuck for ideas or show signs of not being able to get their idea to work, refrain from stepping in to help or giving any assistance straight away. Learning takes time and requires the opportunity to think, hypothesise, try out ideas and problem solve their own way on their own terms.
- Keep the basket of things you selected accessible in their play space so your child can go back to it as they choose. Repetition of play provides opportunities for children to extend their thought processes and skill mastery. They practice reflection and refinement as they differentiate variables of their ideas and build new meanings and depth to their play. It’s also valuable to hold off packing away their play once they walk away.
Be encouraged to take a step back when offering Connetix Tiles to your play spaces. The magnitude of their value and impact to children’s learning is beyond doubt, so let your child lead the play organically while you sit back and watch the curiosity and magic unfold.
At Connetix, we love to inspire children to learn through PLAY. As an Australian business founded by a masters certified educator and skilled mechanical designer, Connetix is committed to providing quality open-ended resources. Made from non-toxic ABS plastic, riveted for extra safety, Connetix are built to last.
For further information on how Connetix support early-childhood development or inspirational ideas, head to our website to discover our free educational resources.
If you would like to enquire about our EDUCATOR DISCOUNT, please contact us at email@example.com or phone Dave on (08) 93305151.