BRIDGE and the Lego Foundation talk play in ECD

For us in the ECD sector, the topic of play can never become obsolete. BRIDGE in partnership with the Lego Foundation opened up a conversation around PLAY with the aim of understanding ‘the practice of play in different contexts’. We used a webinar format to explore how caregivers, ECD practitioners and children are supported in ‘learning through play’ (LtP). A panel of experts made up of The Caregiver Learning Through Play Consortium, Play Africa and Cotlands led participants in discussion, from which a few key learnings are drawn: 

* Caregivers and ECD practitioners need to understand the concept of playful learning so that they can develop empathy for children’s ways of learning, and take a practical approach to learning through play.

While play is important in preparing children to be school ready, it should continue to feature prominently in the schooling phase. If play methodology is sustained in the Primary School Phase, we could see young children more actively involved in learning and using skills with confidence.  

* Play programmes need to align to the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for 0-4 years and the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS). This alignment will demonstrate the importance of a play-based approach and its links to key learning development priorities, so that policy makers and others in civil society can help advocate for learning through play. 

The ultimate goal of LtP is to help children relate to the world around them, expand their knowledge and develop them emotionally, physically, cognitively and socially.

The meeting highlights of the webinar can be found here.