Play Based Learning Play Based Learning


Recent Posts




::: we’ve moved on but not away

May 1st, 2015

We are Donna and Sherry and this is the blog we created in 2010 while teaching kindergarten together in Melbourne Australia. It was an amazing journey, one which lead us to where we are today.

Sherry is teaching Certificate III in Early Childhood Education & Care and Certificate III in Education Support at Park Orchards Community House and Learning Centre.

Along with internationally renowned UK PLAYworker & Children’s PLAY Consultant Marc Armitage I am a director of Malarkey; a training, resource, education and consulting company for those working in the children and young peoples workforce and an enabling body to the PLAY & PLAYwork sectors … It’s an exciting time at Malarkey as we plan for our first National PLAY & PLAYwork Conference to be held in Melbourne on March 4th & 5th 2016.

While Sherry and I may not be here blogging anymore you can always find me over on the Irresistible Ideas Facebook page, the Malarkey Facebook page or the National Play Conference Facebook page AND of course all the Irresistible Ideas blog post … over 1,000 of them still remain right here for all of you. Sherry and I invite you to come, look around, take what you want and make it your own.

Shez and I have moved on but not away … We live just around the corner from each other, have keys to each others front door, are free to drop in unannounced for coffee and a catch up at any time of the day or night, regard each others families as our own and we are still the BEST-OF-FRIENDS!

Life is a journey full of right hand turns but sometimes you just have to go left and see where you end up. It’s been an irresistible and exciting ride so far. May the good times roll …

~ Donna

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::: our play based learning philosophy revisited

August 24th, 2013

It is in our motto “no play, no learning – know play, know learning” that our play based philosophy is built.

While we girls no longer teach kindergarten together we still have a very strong philosophy when it comes to children having the opportunity every day to learn through their play. We get a lot of emails and Facebook messages from parents, tertiary students and educators asking us to share our philosophy on what  “play based learning” means to us.

Of course every persons true philosophy is unique to themselves but for those who find it hard to express their beliefs to parents, or even co-educators, who may be struggling with the whole idea of putting PLAY-BEFORE-LEARNING, we thought we would share with you once again a post we published a while back on our play based learning philosophy.

::: REPOSTED from April 6th 2011

As we start to branch out talking to a wide range of early years educators and university students, we are amazed at the differing views on what play based learning actually is!

As a summation, our thoughts on play based learning is that it is teaching the children as they like to learn – through play.

Play based learning does not mean that the children just do what they like all day. There will be times when the children come together as a group where they will learn to listen to each other, share information, follow rules and partake in group activities. Play based activities don’t replace intentional teaching, rather complement and enhance it!

In a play based learning setting children will be provided with long periods of uninterrupted play time. They will have the opportunity to follow their own interests. They are encouraged to initiate activities and be self directed with the support of their teachers. They learn to take ownership of their work. They will be gently moulded into independent children with initiative and the confidence to take risks, knowing that there is no right or wrong way.

Open ended play based learning focuses on the process not the product. It is the learning that is taking place that is the all important factor.

Many teachers, as we did, are now choosing to run indoor/outdoor programs and free snack times to enable and enhance the long stretches of uninterrupted play times. This of course is not always possible as the actual physical setup of the centre may not be conducive to it.

When you visit our Education Directory you will discover early childhood settings which reflect this philosophy.

::: an irresistible new direction

February 8th, 2013

We embrace change and we love a challenge – who doesn’t in early childhood? As you may know, we stopped teaching together at our beautiful kindergarten in the outer suburbs of Melbourne at the end of 2010 to concentrate on other aspects of our business such as teacher PD. We have thoroughly enjoyed this fun side of our business and thank you so much to everyone who has supported us.

We have decided this year that we will once again head in another direction. We have a dream of writing a book together with our friend Marc Armitage. A book about children and how through PLAY they are all universally connected. A photographic exploration of children doing what children do best P-L-A-Y.  We’ve nicknamed it ‘Project Dreamer’ but we want it to be much more than a dream. Our intention is to work really hard this year in order to make this dream come true! Before that can happen however, Donna has a full year tour managing Marc Armitage who is coming to Australia at least three times in 2013 to run workshops and attend conference circuits and Sherry, who has recently completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, will become much more involved in tertiary training.

Marc Armitage – UK PLAY expert …

We are also interested in helping to organise other fabulous early childhood experts to bring the latest and greatest information to our preschool, long day care, OSHC, family day and primary school educators.

IIFPBL Facebook Page …

Our blog will remain, all of the great ideas for teaching in early education are still there, so please explore. From time to time we will put up a new post, but it won’t be as regular as it has been in the past. It is very difficult when we are not teaching and planning together to have new posts about activities/ideas etc… Our Facebook page will also remain and continue to be the fabulous resource that it has become.

2013 has started off very well for us as we hope it has for all of you!

 Cheers … Sherry and Donna