Early learning sets up skills for life

When little ones play, they share ideas, use communication and listening skills, engage with others, develop physically and learn knowledge about the world.

This will often happen spontaneously, out of everyday play experiences with you, family or friends.

Talking about how to play a game or discussing an idea helps little ones develop communication and negotiation skills. This helps them learn to respect ideas, take turns, encourage others and join in. Learning to settle disputes or apologise develops conflict management skills and emotional intelligence.

Some play, like making something in the sandpit or during craft time, lets kids use and strengthen problem solving skills. As they sort, organise or describe things, they are also using and developing numeracy and language skills.

Playing outdoors or around the home is time for little ones to develop physical skills. Picking up and playing with toys develops motor skills and being active teaches them how to have an active lifestyle.

Asking questions about what they are doing, or asking them to suggest ideas for you to do something shows your interest and supports little ones as they play and learn. For example, if your child is drawing a picture, ask them about the colours they use and the shapes they are making, or ask them how you would draw an elephant (big body, long nose, etc.).

Video originally sourced from the DET Foundations For Success website, providing additional guidance to the Early Years Learning Framework for the delivery quality early learning programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Published — 15 September 2016 Last updated — 22 December 2016