Learning through play
Children as creative, engaged, lifelong learners
The LEGO Foundation is a corporate philanthropy that sees learning through play as crucial for children’s positive development, regardless of their situation. Promoting children’s drive and motivation to learn, their ability to come up with ideas and imagine alternatives, as well as to connect with others and their surroundings in positive ways, is essential in the 21st-century.
Children learn through play
Learning happens right from birth. Children have an amazing natural potential to learn about the world through play. You may wonder how children build more complex, higher-order skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving. One approach – often overlooked – is play! The scientific community has found increasing evidence that children are constantly learning, connecting and engaging with their surroundings through positive, playful experiences. Children have natural-born skills and capabilities that enable them to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. To fully flourish, these skills need to be nurtured, supported and developed as children grow.
Coming up with ideas, expressing them and transforming them into reality by creating associations, symbolizing and representing ideas and providing meaningful experiences for others.
Being physically active, understanding movement and space through practicing sensory-motor skills. Spatial understanding and nurturing an active and healthy body.
Collaborate, communicate and understand other people’s perspectives through sharing ideas, negotiating rules and building empathy.
Concentration, problem solving and flexible thinking by learning to tackle complex tasks and building effective strategies to identify solutions.
Understand, manage and express emotions by building self-awareness and handling impulses. Staying motivated and confident in the face of difficulties.
Characteristics of playful experiences
The five characteristics of play in this video draw on extensive conversations with experts in the field, as well as reviews of the literature on play and learning. We do not view them as providing any formal definition of play, but they do help unfold how playful experiences lead to deeper learning.