What is Play Sense?
Play Sense is an exceptional solution to early childhood education. Building a solid foundation during the toddler years is vital for success in later life. Play Sense offers an evidence-based curriculum focused on play, presented by qualified ECD teachers either in a home environment or online. Groups are limited to 6 children so that every child feels cherished and has important one-on-one time with the teacher. The Play Sense model of education focuses on allowing soft skills, such as emotional self-regulation and executive function to develop. Research* shows that children who are allowed the time and space to grow these foundational skills early on show greater resilience, socialisation, and academic success later in life. * Veenman & Spaans, 2005 | * Blair & Razza, 2007 | * Blair & Diamond, 2008
Play Sense offers an evidence-based curriculum focused on play, presented by qualified ECD teachers either in a home environment or online. Groups are limited to 6 children so that every child feels cherished and has important one-on-one time with the teacher.
The Play Sense model of education focuses on allowing soft skills, such as emotional self-regulation and executive function to develop. Research* shows that children who are allowed the time and space to grow these foundational skills early on show greater resilience, socialisation, and academic success later in life.
* Veenman & Spaans, 2005 | * Blair & Razza, 2007 | * Blair & Diamond, 2008
“Play Sense brings the magic of learning to life. We offer parents a new standard of childcare and education by combining our award-winning play-based curriculum together with passionate teachers to teach little one’s core skills in a home environment. We have re-imagined early childhood education and we have proven our model with hundreds of families. For us, it’s an honour to be helping parents raise confident, resilient little beings that will go on to be future players.”
Why learning through play?
Toddlers are at the most exciting developmental stage. The problem with many traditional playschools is that in these large groups with unstructured free-play or a ‘skills’ focussed curriculum the real needs of the pre-schooler are not catered for.Research has proven that guided imaginary play is the best way children age 2 to 4 learn language, socialisation, and self-regulation.
Play Sense’s evidence-based program is designed to develop these and other important skills like empathy, focus, collaboration, and creativity in a fun, engaging way. With these super skills in place, children can go on to have a meaningful learning journey and lifelong success.
“We have to re-imagine what we have come to believe about teaching 2 to 4-year olds. Skills-based learning is only a part of optimal development, but the greatest impact we can have on toddlers is to teach them these super skills that they will refine throughout their lifetime to achieve their goals and live a fulfilled life.”
Re-imagining early childhood education
Research has proven that guided imaginary play is the best way children age 2 to 4 learn language, social skills, and self-regulation. Play and especially imaginary play is the only way to develop these foundations for learning.
Play Sense curriculum is developed by Occupational Therapists and parenting experts (and mothers) to teach toddlers important skills like listening, taking turns, focus, collaboration, and creativity – in an age-appropriate way. With these skills in place, children can go on to have a meaningful learning journey and lifelong success.
Our program is not only designed for optimal development, it’s also lots (and lots) of fun! With Play Sense, every day is a new, exciting adventure filled with sensory play, outdoor and gross motor play, art, stories, music and our all-important imaginary play designed to help little people thrive.
To develop resilient, emotionally engaged children who are attuned to their own and other’s emotions, and able to self-regulate their own behaviour.
To encourage a strong sense of identity and belonging and develop empathy and care for others and the environment.
To nurture the foundation for the learning journey, namely creativity, inspiration, intrinsic motivation, and active exploration to learn. We call these ‘Super Senses.’
To develop executive function in little ones, this is the motivation to accomplish goal-orientated tasks using the skills of problem-solving, decision making, flexibility and judgement.
To support the developmental goals of 2-4 year olds such as gross motor, fine motor, language and cognitive skills.
“Neuroscientist and author of Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina, says that human learning is primarily a relational exercise. Intelligence is developed in the arms of warm, loving people. We couldn’t agree more! That is why Play Sense’s model aims to support parents and empower teachers to teach little ones through play.”
Play Sense core competencies
Emotional self-regulation is perhaps the most important soft skill that can be learned. This skill allows children to regulate their own emotions so that once triggered into a highly emotional state, they can calm themselves down and return to the task at hand. To be able to do this is vital for success in more formal schooling and for success in life as an adult.
Children successfully learn emotional self-regulation when a caring and empathetic adult guides them. Teachers do this by being children’s co-regulators. This means that when a child is in a state of emotional dysregulation (a meltdown or temper tantrum) we acknowledge they are struggling in that moment, and we give them the vocabulary and tools to be able to regulate. Soon children learn how to do this on their own.
One of the fundamental skills that our children will need as they leave high-school or university, is the ability to socialise effectively. In a global community where collaboration and communication are becoming more and more important, we need to make sure that our children learn fundamental social skills.
After enough time is spent focusing on developing a strong sense of self, toddlers begin to seek out interactions with their peers. Learning how to socialise with empathy and understanding of others can only take place in an environment where each child is valued and feels respected themselves, such as in a Play Sense micro playgroup.
The Super Senses form the basis of lifelong learning and are the key capacities needed for success in life. These include:
- A deep passion for learning
- Engagement in tasks
- Drive to get things done
- A sense of self-worth and motivation
The Play Sense curriculum supports the development of these capacities by encouraging playful imagination, guiding socialisation and building each child’s confidence in their own abilities – all within a warm, happy environment.
Executive function is like the CEO of the brain. It is responsible for incorporating all mental skills needed to plan a task and execute it well. With increased socialisation during the toddler years, as well as the emergence of more mature self-talk and better self-regulation, the brain’s capacity to develop executive function suddenly blooms. In fact, the toddler years are the only time in a person’s life that executive function develops as such a rapid rate. This is why supporting the development of executive function during toddlerhood is so vitally important.
The skills that are required to foster executive function are:
- Being able to focus the attention
- Logical self-talk
- Inner control over the child’s own feelings and actions
- A strong working memory
- Mental flexibility
- Being able to make sense of sensory information
We also focus on developmental milestones such as:
- Gross motor skills
- Fine motor skills
- Visual and auditory perception
- Potty training and personal hygiene
At Play Sense we find that these developmental milestones are easily measured at the appropriate time. This is due to the underlying foundations of social and emotional well-being, the Super Sensory capacities and executive function that our curriculum provides.