Meaningful Play Makes for Successful Learning

It’s certainly no surprise that children like to play. They jump, they color, they make-believe, they story-tell, and while it may seem like all fun and games (which it is), play is also an important vehicle for learning.
It’s so important in fact that one area school has incorporated play-based learning into their curriculum and educational offerings. Just this year, Wake County Public School System introduced its first Play and Ingenuity magnet theme at Powell Magnet Elementary School. With a broad array of Domain and elective courses to support core subjects as well as visual, performing, and contemporary arts, and media, Powell Center for Play and Ingenuity engages its students through play and game-like learning that encourages active participation and exploration to build and strengthen brain pathways.
“Children innately use play to understand the world around them,” said Justin Kram, the play integration specialist at Powell Center for Play and Ingenuity. “At Powell, we inspire our students to explore our curriculum dynamically through play and to embrace mistakes as learning opportunities. We guide the learning process, but wherever possible, we give our students the reins.”
You too can harness the power of anticipation and enjoyment of meaningful play to support your child’s educational development and growth at home. A few simple cues and the willingness to empower your child to self-direct a new path of play will get you started. Here are some ideas to consider:
Space out
Learning doesn’t have to take place at a desk or a table. Create a space of possibility for your child. Let her make a comfy reading nook inside an empty clothesbasket or cardboard box. Set up an outdoor “workstation” on a picnic bench. Give her empty floor space to stretch out with the projects and games that hold her interest.
Get to gaming
Let your son create his

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