Learning through Play
Inspire by RIE
RIE (Resources for Infant Educators) is more commonly know as Open Ended Play. It is play with no predetermined or structured outcome. In its simplest of forms, RIE has no right or wrong way of playing, as it allows the child to follow their imagination and let the exploration to go in any direction their creativity takes them.
In a young child's world, where routine and structure is essential, RIE offers the creative outlet to allow them to foster their own independence, decision making and critical analysis thinking. Here they explore how everything works together in their own time, their own way and at their own pace. One of the largest components of REI is to offer a safe environment with toys that do very little. The less a toy does, the more the child will use it's imagination with it.
Resources include teething & grasping toys, building blocks, push/pull toys, Piklers & Balance Boards, sensory items such as kinetic sand, playdough & rice and items that support transportation schemas (baskets, cups etc). Most importantly though, REI fosters independent play - where you as the parent are not required to intervene in order order for the child to play with that toy or be directed by a preconceived idea of what the outcome should look like.
Inspired by Montessori
The Montessori approach focuses on practical play and sensory work.
Resources encourage matching, sequencing, numbers and letters for tracing, cutting, writing and drawing. Materials are specially designed to help children learn through repetition and self-correction.
The aim is to develop independent practical life skills and to build their gross and fine motor control and hand-eye coordination.
Inspired by STEAM
Whilst STEM represents science, technology, engineering and maths; “STEAM” represents STEM plus the arts – humanities, language arts, dance, music and visual arts.
Where STEM explicitly focuses on scientific concepts, STEAM investigates those same concepts, but does this through inquiry and problem-based learning methods used in the creative process.
STEAM materials challenge the preconceptions that learning areas are separate, and moves past the “I’m good at math and science, so I’m not creative” way of thinking.
Toys, materials and resources are engaging, multifaceted and inclusive; with diversity of representation and thought. These include ball runs, memory cards, coding toys, math squares, geometric sequencing blocks (such as tangrams) and building blocks (such as magnetic tiles and lego).
Inspired by Waldorf
Steiner (also known as Waldorf) is focused on self-directed learning and is based on children's interests.
The Steiner philosophy encourages self-motivated learning that supports and encourages problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity and social skills.
When learning is self-directed, children's motivation doesn't come from rewards; instead they are engaged because they find it satisfying.
Steiner learning resources are simple and low-tech to stimulate curiosity and creativity. These include weaving materials, crayons, painting, puppets, natural fibres and natural timber.