About play-based learning

a child-centered approach

Learning through play or “Play Based Learning” (PBL) is a term that is used in education to describe a way for children to make sense of the world around them. Playing allows children to develop various cognitive and social skills, mature emotionally and most importantly gain the self-confidence to engage in new experiences in their ever-changing environment. Children learn best by playing, being with other people, being active, having fun, communicating with peers, being mentally and physically challenged and being shown how to do new things and given the time to practice and repeat the skill. This “child-centered” focus is exactly what you can see happening everyday at Hollis Preschool.

The core component of Hollis Preschool's educational philosophy is and always has been “Play-based Learning” (PBL). The structure of the day allows this ever-developing skill time to flourish. The “Play-based” or “Child Centered” classroom is broken up into centers, such as housekeeping, science, sensory table, reading loft, building/construction and art. The teaching staff skillfully guides and observes the children though their engagements and interactions, teaching them the social skills they need to be successful and helping them to build the strong foundational building block of this essential skill. Although it may appear that the children are “just playing”, for children, play is the hardest work they do as they grow and develop. Along with this critical time of playing there are structured learning opportunities happening in the classrooms in conjunction with time for each child to be outside and share in a “family-style” snack break with their peers.

The teachers at Hollis Preschool fully support play-based learning and help create an environment inside and outside of the classroom that supports and enhances children’s play while honoring each child’s individual skills and abilities.