An activity that is done for enjoyment without thinking about the end result could be called play. For generations there is a current of thought that while play is fun, it is also a waste of time that could be spent more productively doing something useful, or gainful, for that matter.
Childhood is the time when kids have countless opportunities for play. A child is the happiest when s/he is engrossed in play that can happen in different forms, such as imitating the family members, playing with toys, or playing outdoor games like tag, hide-and-seek or simply running. Children can improve their motor skills, enhance their power of imagination and creativity by indulging in play.
The play-way method is a flexible one based on a child’s interest and aptitude. It is unplanned and thus encourages complete freedom of expression. This method rules out grading or marking kids based on parameters, say, for example, home assignments. Instead, the teachers assess the skills and aptitude of the child, and communicate their assessments to the parents from time to time. Play-way method of teaching has been introduced in preschools across India.
Incorporating ideas from other curricula or using inventive instructions the play-way method can be modified to meet children’s requirements. Montessori and other systems of pre-primary teaching can also be combined with this method. However, it is very helpful if trained teachers implement the method. The requisite knowledge about the method can be gained through the preschool trainer certification. A school needs to study various factors related to the methodology and prepare the set-up accordingly, if it wishes to include this method in its preschool curriculum.
At the preschool level, the play-way method or learning through play is a very popular methodology of imparting education to children. Children step out of their home and familiar surroundings to be and learn among a different set of people, who include kids and teachers.
In India, children pass through the first stage of education (preschool education) by taking part in various activities such as games, music, art, communicating with peers and teachers, learning and inculcating skills. Various aspects of a child’s development such as physical, psychological, intellectual, and development of motor skills are enhanced because of these activities.
5 Basic Preschool and Play Principles
Here are the 5 basic principles that guide the play-way method of teaching:
Doing things practically helps in easy learning.
An atmosphere of freedom is conducive to learning.
Learning should be related to life and not to books.
The method should suit the needs and interest of the child.
Ample opportunities for children to express themselves.
Advantages of Play-way Method of Teaching
Play-way method helps children follow certain aspects of development. Such as:
The pre-primary stage of education is very crucial in the development of a child. Surprisingly, this is also the area that is often overlooked and therefore needs a lot of attention and exploration. Also, the study of cognitive components of development is being overemphasised, while the socio-emotional developmental aspects have been ignored. The early care and education of the child have to be informal, with the implementation of proper practices of care. It should include stories, lullabies and traditional infant games, all taking place in a play-way method that helps in the socio-emotional development of the child.
Understanding Play-way Method
A play-way method is a stimulant which consists of pleasure and satisfaction. Children enjoy and actively get involved in playing, which is natural to them. Play-way method goes by the principle that all work and learning should be done in the essence of ‘play’. Play-way is a means of the subjective and emotional development of the child, that is, development in terms of intellect, skills and feelings.
Play-way method is structured on activity-based learning. It encourages creative skills and self-expression. Playing is the predominant factor in this method. It reinvigorates children while also enhancing their learning abilities.
Why Play-way Method?
- Makes learning easy and enjoyable.
- Each child is given equal opportunities for full participation.
- Develops not only knowledge but also skills.
- Brings satisfaction at the cognitive level.
- Creates apt learning environment
- Better retention of knowledge.
- Paves ways for self-discipline.
- Provides more opportunities for learning.
- Most suitable method for the pre-primary level children.
- Helps children connect with their teachers easily.
- Facilitates holistic development (cognitive, linguistic, aesthetic, social, emotional, fine and gross motor skills)
- Contents and concepts of each and every subject cannot be introduced through this method.
- Develop customised learning activities.
- Create a joyful learning environment.
- Prepare relevant teaching-learning material after designing the learning activities.
- Plan the activities ranging from simple to complex.
- Be guides, supervisors and leaders for the learners during the learning process.
- Evaluate children through play-way activities.